Judith Freedman has been awarded the 2012-13 Oxford-Melbourne Research Partnership funding with Ann O’Connell at Melbourne Law School. The two year project on “A Comparative Analysis of General Anti Avoidance Provisions” will include an international conference on recent proposals on the GAAR in February 2012[linkme]. The research funding is part of the funding provided to Melbourne and Oxford by Allan Myers QC.

The proposed project relates to the use of general anti avoidance rules as a method of tackling and controlling tax avoidance. This raises many issues relating purely to tax law but also much wider issues of drafting methods, principles based legislation, the level of specificity needed to satisfy rule of law  requirements, regulatory problems such as  creative compliance and the use of soft law, such a guidance, and administrative methods such as panels to reduce litigation.

The subject is particularly topical in the UK because the Government recently appointed Graham Aaronson QC to report on whether the UK should once again consider whether it needed a General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) in the tax area (having rejected this in 1998).

Judith Freedman is a member of the Advisory Group appointed to advise Graham Aaronson. The Aaronson Report can be found on the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) pages of the Treasury website.