Trebilcock on Tax Avoidance
28 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2009 Last revised: 8 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 2, 2009
Michael Trebilcock is by all accounts one of his generation's most prolific and important scholars of law and economics. Through more than 200 articles, book chapters, books, edited volumes, and other academic publications, Trebilcock has made lasting contributions to many fields including (and this is a partial list): contracts, torts, consumer protection, antitrust, international trade, immigration, regulation, and law and development. In recognition of his teaching and research, he has received awards and distinctions from students, universities, governments, and scholarly societies. The symposium for which this essay was prepared is only the latest token of appreciation for Trebilcock's profound and prominent contributions to the intellectual depth and breadth of legal thought.
And yet, despite the accolades, the attention, and the richly-deserved scholarly fame, there is a comparatively unlit corner of Trebilcock's oeuvre; the part dealing with income tax law. Although it would be the inaccurate to say that it has been entirely overlooked, most readers of Trebilcock's more discussed work will not be acquainted with the fact that his scholarly career began, inauspiciously as it might seem, nearly five decades ago with a 224 page long LL.M. thesis at the University of Adelaide. Almost unbelievably, this substantial piece of work was dedicated to analyzing just a single provision of Australian income tax law: a general anti-avoidance rule aimed at combating tax avoidance. This essay seizes control of the spotlight that has been trained on Trebilcock's other work and redirects it to Trebilcock's early tax scholarship.
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