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Advocacy tools on tax policy and international cooperation for human rights

July 25, 2016   Blog, Human Rights

RightingFinanceAOur friends at Righting Finance have released their fourth in a series of advocacy tools on tax policy and international cooperation for human rights. The aim of these advocacy tools is to assist education and dissemination of the standards on tax policy and human rights contained in a report produced by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights in 2014.

The Panama papers are not about tax

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 17.14.28Update: see TJN writer in UK’s Prospect Magazine making this general point.

This deliberately provocative headline is of course not fully true: tax is clearly a tremendously important aspect of the Panama papers scandal, as it continues to roil governments and élites and their advisers, around the globe. But there are far too many commentators who seem to be putting this into a ‘tax’ pigeonhole. Many have dubbed this “the Panama tax avoidance scandal” (or variants of this) — which reflects a profound misunderstanding of what is going on.

First, as an aside, we should probably banish this word ‘avoidance’ from the tax lexicon, because it’s so widely misused and misunderstood (it helps use words like ‘tax cheating’ or ‘escape’ instead, to keep you out of the thorny thickets of what’s legal or not.) But more importantly for today’s blog, these commentators have erred when they put Panama into the ‘tax’ box. Tax is a subsidiary story.

Register here for TJN’s annual discussion workshop at City University, London, 25th-26th June 2015

April 12, 2015   Blog, TJN


You can register here to attend TJN’s annual discussion workshop, held in association with the Association for Accountancy & Business Affairs and City University, London, which will be held on 25th-26th June 2015.

The workshop theme is Should Nation States Compete?  The outline programme is published below (it may be subject to alteration).  A fuller programme including paper abstracts is available here.



DAY ONE – 25th June 2015

10h00 – 10h30 Registration and coffee

10h30 – 11h00 Welcome and introductions

11h00 – 12h30 Session One
Facilitator – David Quentin
Discussant – Anastasia Nesvetailova

Matthew Watson – Ricardian Myth-Making: Comparative Advantage Theory as Ideologically Selective Historical Reconstruction

Atul Shah – Systemic Regulatory Arbitrage: the Role of KPMG

Isabel Estevez – A Minimum Cooperation Consensus for a South American Fordian Pact

12h30 – 13h30 Lunch

13h30 – 15h00 Session Two

Facilitator – Naomi Fowler
Discussant – Duncan Wigan

Filomeno III Sta Ana – Questioning Fiscal Incentives as a Policy Instrument for Competitiveness: The Case of Southeast Asia

Darian Heim – Justice, Migration, and the Competition for Talent

Ali Saqer – International Competitiveness and Economic Resilience: from Social Welfare to Corporate Welfare

15h00 – 15h30 Tea break

15h30 – 17h00 Session Three

Facilitator – Krishen Mehta
Discussant – Jim Henry

Juliette Schwak – South Korean Nation Branding and the Building of a Competitiveness Society

Jakob Engel – Regulating the Commodity Trading Industry: Comparing firm strategies to evade stricter regulation at three levels of governance

Linda Arch – Competition amongst the London Clearing Banks, 1946 to 1979

17h30 – 20h00 Film Screening

Screening of Harold Crook’s award-winning film documentary The Price We Pay, followed by panel discussion with Nick Shaxson, Jim Henry, moderated by Ronen Palan

20h00 Dinner at BananaTree


DAY TWO – 26th June 2015

09h30 – 11h00 Session Four

Facilitator – Liz Nelson
Discussant – Prem Sikka

Michael Tyrala – The Changing Role of the USA in the Regulation of the Offshore Economy

Duncan Wigan – The Finance Curse and Competition through Finance

Anastasia Nesvetailova – The Offshore Nexus, Sanctions Busting and the Russian Crisis

11h00 – 11h30 Coffee / tea break

11h30 – 13h00 Session Five

Facilitator – Alex Cobham
Discussant – Richard Murphy

Hagai Kalai– Back to Source: From international corporate tax neutrality to efficient investment policy and its implication for a desirable international tax policy

Matti Ylönen – Politics of Intra-Firm Trade: Corporate Price Planning and the Double Role of the Arm’s Length Principle

Diarmid O’Sullivan – Curbing tax competition: how can we get to a global consensus?

13h00 – 14h00 Lunch

14h00 – 15h30 Panel Discussion – The ‘Competitiveness’ Conundrum

Moderator – Naomi Fowler
Discussants – Will Davies, Ronen Palan, Matthew Watson

15h30 Workshop ends

Register here.



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