How the NHMRC got its fingers burnt

Med J Aust. 1997 Oct 6;167(7):372-4. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1997.tb125103.x.


On 20 December 1996, Justice J Finn of the Federal Court of Australia handed down his judgment in the case of the Tobacco Institute of Australia (TIA) Ltd and others v the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and others. Justice Finn concluded that, in developing its recommendations for control of environmental tobacco smoke, the NHMRC's Working Party on Passive Smoking erred significantly in regard to the consultative procedures that it employed. As the following discussion shows, the legal decision has profound implications for the NHMRC and the provision of expert advice to Australian governments on matters of health and health policy. The discussion has been prepared by three members of the NHMRC Working Party, but reflects their personal views and not necessarily those of the Working Party as a whole or those of the NHMRC.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Medical*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution