Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013



The unit provides students with a broad global understanding of comparative taxation law issues. It examines and compares the structural features of a number of different tax systems around the world, focusing on international income tax issues and tax treaties. The tax systems in the following countries will be examined: Australia, the United States, the member states of the European Union, and certain developing countries. The unit adopts an international framework for exploring tax law theory and policy and tax system design. It also considers how tax systems relate to each other and how problems of double taxation are dealt with. The unit will examine methodologies of legal interpretation used in civil and common law jurisdictions. It will also examine aspects of tax administration and the protection of taxpayers' rights.


Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  1. understand the basic principles of direct taxation on a comparative basis
  2. understand the different legal contexts within taxation is regulated around the world
  3. understand different policy goals underlying tax law in developed countries as well as net capital exporting countries and in developing countries
  4. understand the relationship between domestic tax law and tax treaties in a selected number of civil and common law jurisdictions around the world
  5. understand the interaction among tax systems at the international level in the presence or absence of double taxation conventions
  6. understand the methodologies used in (a selected number of) civil and common law jurisdictions around the world to interpret the law of taxation
  7. understand the foundations of international tax planning
  8. be prepared to apply the outcome of their analysis to carry out a constructive criticism to the principles that underpin the Australian tax system.


Class participation: 10%
Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
Take-home examination (3,000 words): 40%

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)