The Public International Law of Taxation: Text, Cases and Materials
The Public International Law of Taxation: Text, Cases and Materials
by Asif H. Qureshi and Ajay Kumar (2nd ed., Kluwer Law International, 2019), 634 pages
Reviewed by Xiaojing Qin
Traditional international taxation books focus mainly on issues relating to double taxation. Professor Asif Qureshi and Ajay Kumar, in their book The Public International Law of Taxation (second edition), review taxation law from the more theoretical perspective of public international law. Such an approach serves three purposes: in the first place, it provides a more systematic and theoretical framework for international taxation law. It examines international taxation in light of the major sources underlying public international law, namely, international agreements, customary international law and general principle of law. It examines whether customary international law and general principle of law (together referred to as ‘general international law’) have shaped the international taxation regime and to what extent, apart from treaty law which constitutes the major source of international fiscal norms. The book suggests that although general international law does not generally appear to have an impact on international taxation, some general international law norms do have a bearing on tax matters, such as the prohibition on confiscatory taxation and immunity from taxation of state representatives. Concerning treaty law, the book points out that, apart from double taxation treaties which are specific tax norms and address taxation jurisprudence among states, there are also norms of general character in international law which have implications for taxation issues and impinge on domestic fiscal policy issues.

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