Legal academic shortlisted for international research award

09 March 2017
Professor Craig Elliffe small

A research paper by Professor Craig Elliffe from the Auckland Law School has been shortlisted for the Frans Vanistendael 2017 Award for International Tax Law.

It is one of just six research papers nominated for the prestigious award which recognises the world’s best international tax research.

His paper titled The Lesser of Two Evils: Double Tax Treaty Override or Treaty Abuse?, was originally published in the British Tax Review.

Although the OECD and G20 have developed a far reaching Action Plan to combat multinational tax base erosion and profit shifting, some countries - notably the United Kingdom and Australia, but now also New Zealand - have grown frustrated with their inability to tax profits in their jurisdiction where economic activity has occurred and value created.

Professor Elliffe’s paper considers the relationship between international tax treaties and domestic law and suggests that some countries can effectively legislate to override their international treaty obligations. Such countries have to evaluate whether it is worse to breach their treaty obligations or suffer the abuse of those treaties. His article argues that treaty override is justified and acceptable in circumstances of treaty abuse.

The Frans Vanistendael Award for International Tax Law is supported by the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), the world’s largest specialist tax publisher, based in the Netherlands. It is named after the IBFD’s former Academic Chairman, Dr Frans Vanistendael, who is renowned as an exceptional scholar in the field of international tax law.

The recipient of the Award, which comes with a €10,000 prize, will be selected in May by an international jury of experts comprising John Avery Jones, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Tsilly Dagan, Ana Paula Dourado, Marjaana Helminen, Rick Krever, Jörg Manfred Mössner, Pasquale Pistone and Luís Eduardo Schoueri.
Professor Elliffe was appointed to a Chair in Tax Law at the University of Auckland after 14 years as a tax partner at KPMG and nine years as a tax partner at Chapman Tripp.

He was also recently honoured by the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand by being elected as a Fellow, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession.