As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak global havoc, courts in South Africa, the US and elsewhere have to weigh up delicate balances between constitutional rights, individual freedoms and the public good. In the US, the Supreme Court has narrowly rejected a bid by a church to hold services for more than 50 congregants.

It has been reported that the Fair Trade Tobacco Association (Fita) is preparing to take its fight against the controversial tobacco ban to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). In fact, the tobacco industry is rolling its dice in all directions. British American Tobacco SA (Batsa) is also awaiting its case against the ban to be heard in the Western Cape High Court in early August 2020.

Advocate Arnold Stubel, for Fita, is still of the view that the Pretoria North High Court came to the wrong decision when it decided against the lifting of selling cigarettes and related products. I do not wish to speak much on the tobacco case as it is heading to the SCA and the Western Cape High Court, except to say that the industry will need a good and different script to convince the courts otherwise, even if it means…

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