Isle of Man and English lawyer Paul Beckett FRSA has opened up a new field of study which has wide social implications, with the forthcoming publication of “Tax Havens and International Human Rights Law” (to be published by Taylor & Francis in autumn 2017, as one of a series of six works on human rights by various authors under the general editorship of Professor Surya Subedi QC of Leeds University).
Paul, who in 2015 was awarded a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law from New College, Oxford (where, at Worcester College, he read Jurisprudence in the mid-Seventies) is an expert on tax havens and their impact on the human rights continuum.
The book sails in uncharted waters. It takes a human rights based approach to tax havens, and is a detailed analysis of structures and the laws which generate and support these. It makes plain the unscrupulous or merely indifferent ways in which, using tax havens, businesses and individuals systematically undermine and essentially eliminate access to remedies under international human rights law. It exposes as abusive of human rights a complex structural web of trusts, companies, partnerships, foundations, nominees and fiduciaries, secrecy, immunity and smoke screens. It also lays bare the cynical manipulation by tax havens of traditional legal forms and conventions, and the creation of entities so bizarre and chimeric that they defy classification. Yet from the perspective of the tax havens themselves these are entirely legitimate; the product of duly enacted domestic laws.
The book is not a work of investigative journalism in the style of the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the Panama Papers, exposing political or financial corruption, money laundering or the financing of terrorism. All those elements are present, but the focus is on international human rights and how tax havens not merely facilitate but actively connive at their breach.
The book is structured as six self-contained chapters which can be read in any order, and a seventh chapter setting out the author’s suggestions for future directions of study and steps which governments and NGOs may wish to consider to curb the abuses. The chapters define tax havens, review the strategies and structures which tax havens employ, focus first on the avoidance of beneficial ownership, then on tax avoidance and evasion, and conclude somewhat counter-intuitively with detailed examinations of the Isle of Man (which is found not to be a tax haven) and Switzerland (which is the grandfather of tax havens).
Details of the publication schedule, and of the other titles in the series, can be obtained from:
Alexandra (Alex) Buckley
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