The legal challenge to the Scottish Government’s plans to implement a minimum unit price [MUP] for alcohol will begin today at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

A six day hearing was originally scheduled to begin on 23 October 2012, following the submission of a petition seeking a judicial review of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) on the grounds that a MUP is in breach of European Union trade law. However, further objections and interventions to the proposed legislation delayed the court process into the new year.

A judicial review of the legislation is expected to last up to eight days. The Scottish Government intends to wait until a verdict has been reached before implementing the Act. Judge Lord Doherty is expected to pass judgment on the case later this year.