International Research Collaboration on Federalism and Tax Harmonisation
26 February 2013
The Ross Parson's Centre, represented by Dr Peter Gerangelos, Professor of Constitutional Law at Sydney Law School, was recently involved in a major international research program entitled "Horizontal Tax Coordination within the EU and within States: the Role of the Courts" that was conducted by the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law at the University of Vienna and supported by the European Science Funds. The book Horizontal Tax Coordination (Lang, Pistone et al (eds), IBDF, 2013) has just been published to set out the findings of this research project. Professor Gerangelos' contribution has been published as Chapter 2 of the new book.
A principal purpose of the project was to provide guidance to the European Union with respect to achieving tax harmonization amongst the member States of the Union and to examine the role of the European Court of Justice in this regard. The role of constitutional courts and their techniques of constitutional interpretation relating to taxation was a primary concern. This project was inaugurated with an international colloquium and thence an international conference at the University of Vienna which was attended by European Union jurists, lawyers and legal scholars, as well as legal scholars and jurists from all nations whose systems were the object of study. The project involved an international collaboration between constitutional and tax scholars of the European Union and those from individual European federal states (Belgium, Spain, Austria) and from major non-European Union federations (Australia, United States, Russia, Switzerland, India, Mexico and Brazil). Professor Gerangelos was the representative from Australia.
The Australian contribution was of particular interest to the European Union representatives. The experience in Australia uniquely reveals how a degree of harmonization is achievable in circumstances where it is not possible to impose by federal law harmonised local taxation regimes as between the component parts of a federation, at least without their collaboration. In Australia, this has been achieved indirectly by the use of a combination of a constitutionally prescribed discretionary grants power (s 96) in the hands of the central government combined with the taxation power (s 51 (ii).) That is, by the use of s 96 grants to the States "on such terms and conditions as the [Commonwealth] Parliament thinks fit", a phrase interpreted very liberally by the High Court, it has been possible for the central government to ameliorate, to a degree and albeit indirectly, the consequences of an absence of harmonisation as between the regions. They were also particularly interested in the fact that harmonisation as between the States own taxation regimes is a matter more of inter-governmental cooperation than legal and constitutional enforcement; given that at Commonwealth level, the Constitution prohibits Commonwealth taxes which discriminate between States or which give preference to one State over another. The working of the GST was of particular interest. This remains of significant interest to all national representatives at the conference in addition to those jurists who represented the European Union.
The Regulatory Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis
12 November 2012
Sydney Law School is pleased to announce the latest book co-authored by Professor Jennifer Hill.
The Regulatory Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, published by Cambridge University Press and co-authored with Professor Eilis Ferran of Cambridge University, Professor Niamh Moloney from the London School and Economics and Professor John C. Coffee Jr of Columbia Law School, provides an unrivalled understanding of major regulatory reforms that will profoundly affect the future of finance.
The EU and the US responded to the global financial crisis by changing the rules for the functioning of financial services and markets and by establishing new oversight bodies.
With the US Dodd-Frank Act and numerous EU regulations and directives now in place, this book provides a timely and thoughtful explanation of the key elements of the new regimes in both regions, of the political processes which shaped their content and of their practical impact.
Insights from areas such as economics, political science and financial history elucidate the significance of the reforms.
Australia's resilience during the financial crisis, which contrasted sharply with the severe problems that were experienced in the EU and the U.S. is also examined.
The comparison between the performances of these major economies in a period of such extreme stress tells us much about the complex regulatory and economic ecosystems of which financial markets are a part.
Jennifer Hill is Professor of Corporate Law at Sydney Law School and a Director of the Ross Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law.
She writes widely in the areas of corporate law and comparative corporate governance, with a particular focus on Australian and U.S. corporate regulation.
Her recent research includes:- a comparison of Australian and U.S, executive contracts (with Professors Randall Thomas and Ron Masulis); regulation of executive remuneration and international regulatory responses to the global financial crisis; differences in the balance of power between shareholders and management across common law countries; an analysis of schemes of arrangement; comparative research on takeovers and takeover defences.
Jennifer has strong professional connections in the United States and Europe.
She has been a Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt University (2003-2010), University of Texas at Austin (1999); University of Virginia (1998) and Cornell University (1994), and a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute (2007).
She is a Research Associate of the European Corporate Governance Institute, and a member of the editorial board of International Corporate Law and Financial Regulation, Cambridge University Press.
Her research has been influential in law reform both in Australia and internationally, and has been cited judicially, including by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Jennifer is also a past President of the Australian Corporate Law Teachers Association (2004-2006), and is a current member of the Law Council of Australia, Corporations Law Committee, and of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC), Legal Sub-Committee, which advises the Australian federal government on law reform.
Throughout the developed world, policymakers are struggling to balance creditor protection against the preservation of businesses in difficulty. The balance tilts in favour of creditors in some countries, and debtor companies elsewhere.
The stakes are very high. The list of casualties of the collapse of a large enterprise will be lengthy: including workers, consumers, trade creditors, financiers and investors.
When that happens, governments will suddenly be under siege and ad hoc rescue packages will be demanded.
At present, Australian laws concerning directors’ duties, liability for insolvent trading and continuous disclosure make it difficult for the directors of listed public companies to pursue a workout, and tempt them to place their company in voluntary administration without fully exploring the prospects for rescue. This is in sharp contrast with the Chapter 11 procedure in the United States, and developing trends in the United Kingdom, which favour preserving the ailing business and nursing it back to good health.
Corporate restructuring experts from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia were brought together by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in August 2010, to explore these issues at the Supreme Court Annual Corporate Law Conference.
This publication contains the speakers’ presentations, a panel discussion on a hypothetical problem, and an introductory essay. It will be of interest to company directors and their advisers, insolvency practitioners, lawyers and law students, bankers, accountants and investment bankers.
More information and purchasing details can be found on the Parsons Centre publications page.
1 February 2012
The global financial crisis of 2007/8 called into question the adequacy of regulatory systems around the developed world. The integrity of securities markets is critical to investor confidence post-GFC.
Market regulators worldwide have reacted by pursuing certain kinds of egregious market conduct and in Australia there has been the shift from self-regulation to government-regulation. ASX passed the regulatory reigns to ASIC in preparation for the opening of the market to competition - Chi-X opened a competing market in October 2011 and others may follow.
In this context it was timely for the sixth annual Supreme Court Conference on Corporate Law to explore issues associated with the regulation of Australian and global securities markets. The Conference was held in August 2011 and organised by the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the Law Society of New South Wales and the Ross Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law.
New Trends in Sharemarket Regulation comprises edited transcripts and written papers from the Conference and will be of interest to lawyers, bankers, company directors and others interested in Australian and global securities markets.
- Current US and international trends in market and share trading regulation, by Professor Donald Langevoort
- Recent legal developments on market manipulation and insider trading, by Dr Greg O'Mahoney
- Market law reform and market reality, by Dr Kevin Lewis
- ASIC's agenda for market integrity, by Mr Shane Tregillis
- Regulatory implications of a merger between the ASX and an overseas exchange, by Mr Alan Cameron AO
More information and purchasing details can be found on Parsons Centre publication