A Proposal of Law & Ethics, and Its Application to the Case of Tax Avoidance
RESPONSIBILITY, DEEP ECOLOGY AND THE SELF; FESTSCHRIFT IN HONOUR OF KNUT J. IMS, pp. 65-86, Ove Jakobsen & Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen, eds., Forlag 1, 2011
16 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 7, 2011
The idea of introducing a law & ethics doctrine is based on the assumption that business should be improved by ethics and ethics should in turn be consolidated by law. It is thus presumed that business decisions are subject to governance that is to be substantiated among other things by ethics. In order to help business, law must not remain within the boundaries of positive law either. It should be open on the one hand to the possible perfection in virtues, and on the other hand to the morality that negotiates harmony rather then conflict-management. A law & ethics doctrine can promise to exercise influence on the interpretation of the individual business conduct.
Whether this is true or not, it will not be discussed in general terms, but through a case study. As a subject of it, tax avoidance will be dealt with. The example of tax avoidance suggests that formal rationality reflects its own contradiction in the sense that it is unable to manage the problems arising from the conduct, which does not break a particular legal rule, but which perverts the system of legal rules as a whole. The failure of the retribution-oriented system of rationality is at the same time the failure of law to reach the reality of tax avoidance.
Keywords: Theory of law & ethics, elusion of tax avoidance, legal fiction, proceduralisation of law
JEL Classification: M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation