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Cigarette packaging appeal expedited British American Tobacco Australia wants access to legal advice obtained by the Department of Health in 1995. The Federal Court in Melbourne heard the advice had been sought when legislation similar to the Gillard government's plain packaging proposal was being considered by the Keating government. The government has refused to release the legal advice through Freedom of Information processes, a position supported by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The appeal was to be heard by the Federal Court in November, but British American Tobacco Australia requested the hearing be brought forward to August. Allan Myers QC, for the company, told Justice Anthony North British American Tobacco believed the government would release its proposed legislation in July, allowing 60 days for consultation. Mr Myers said the company wanted access to the earlier legal opinion because the public placed greater weight upon advice obtained by the government than it would on information obtained by the company. "My client regards it as important to have access to the legal advice that the Commonwealth has got itself about the effect of legislation or regulations . concerning the generic tobacco packaging with reference to Australia's treaties," he said. Peter Hanks QC, for the government, did not oppose the expedition but said there were "good reasons" why his client believed it should exercise its right to withhold the information. Justice North brought the matter forward to August but said an earlier date would depend on the court's availability. "I am conscious of the consideration that part of the right which the appellant seeks to assert will disappear forever if that expedition is not accorded to it," he said.