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The judiciary and its role in the tax reform process

Publication date: 01 Mar 99 | Source: JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN TAXATION

Issue: Vol 2, No 2

Pages: pp.66-79

Judges do more than just decide controversies. Their decisions prompt the legislature to change the law although often considerable time will lapse before this happens. By deciding controversies they often change the direction the law is taking. This article examines the way judges mould the tax law and the shifting judicial attitudes to tax avoidance against the question raised by the first report of the Committee on the Review of Business Taxation whether tax legislation should be directed at specific anti-avoidance behaviour or rely on a general anti-avoidance provision.

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Author profile

Justice Graham Hill
Graham was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1989 until his death in 2005. He was at various stages of his career a solicitor, barrister and Queens Counsel. Graham served as President of the Taxation Institute in 1985. As a solicitor and then as a barrister, two of Graham's many areas of expertise (in addition to income tax) were stamp duty and sales tax. He was the author of the leading text on New South Wales stamp duty. More recently, he took a keen interest in GST. For over 35 years, he taught in the Masters program conducted by the University of Sydney Law School. He was very proud of the fact that he was Australia's longest serving tax teacher. Justice Hill authored many books and was a regular keynote speaker for the Tax Institute. - Current at 24 August 2005
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