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The relevance of overseas case law to Australia’s GST


Many more cases have been decided under the VAT and GST legislation of the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand than have been decided under our Australian GST legislation. What use has been made of decisions on the foreign legislation in the judgments and decisions of Australian courts and the AAT? Should greater use be made of overseas cases? In what circumstances are they likely to be persuasive? These are the questions that were addressed by Justice Lindgren in his keynote address, of which this article is an edited version.

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Hon Justice Kevin Lindgren
Dr Lindgren was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia for some 16 years. He was appointed in 1994 and retired in 2010 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age for federal judges under the Constitution. Dr Lindgren practised as a solicitor from 1962 to1969, was an academic at the University of Newcastle from 1969 to 1984, and practised as a barrister in Sydney from 1984 to 1994, having taken silk in 1991. While a judge, he was President of the Copyright Tribunal of Australia from 2000 to 2007. Since retiring, Dr Lindgren has been engaged in a busy mediation and arbitration practice, as well as in numerous writing and other law-related activities. Relevantly to this forum, he is also a member of the ATO’s GAAR Panel in Sydney. - Current at 02 June 2015
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