The documents revealed USD 38.9 million had been invoiced to the Department of Health by external service providers for the 2011-2012 financial year, through to October 2016, in relation to the case. The Department of Health said that some of the invoiced amounts may not relate solely to the bilateral-investment treaty dispute with the multinational. Philip Morris Asia sued Australia at the court in The Hague in 2012 arguing its plain packaging laws for tobacco breached a 1993 free-trade agreement between Hong Kong and Australia.
The government had made efforts to keep the court costs secret, lodging an appeal in the administrative appeals tribunal in March to prevent disclosure of the cost of the legal fight, the newspaper said.
After losing the 5-year legal battle, Philip Morris was ordered by the court in March 2017 to pay Australia’s legal bill.