Human rights and the protection of taxpayers’ rights in theory and in practice: a talk by Professor Philip Baker QC 13/11/14



Cambridge University Amnesty International CUAI is delighted to invite Professor Philip Baker QC of the Field Court Tax Chambers in Grays Inn to come and speak on the topic of Human Rights and the protection of taxpayers’ rights.

The current situation of taxpayers is not very optimistic; we live in a century where tax revenues and press attack not only illegal tax evasion but also legitimate and justified tax planning. One decision of a bored revenue officer or an article of ambitious journalist can change someone’s life and destroy a good name. Some sociologists call taxation a new terror of a State.

One would expect that taxpayers would be protected by human rights. However, it is not always the case.

Given the significant impact taxation has on our lives and the extent to which the state will go to enforce its rights, the courts should give greater weight to the powers enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention’) in applying tax laws. However, to date, courts have been reticent to purposefully applying the Convention.

Professor Baker will be discussing the following:

– Taxation as the modern terror of the State
– The significance of taxpayers’ rights
– Taxation and the European Convention on Human Rights as seen through the case law of the European Court of Human Rights
– From theory to practice: the practical protection of taxpayers’ rights in Europe

The talk will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Professor Philip Baker QC studied law at Emmanuel College Cambridge, then Oxford and London. He taught law at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies for seven years before moving into practice. He is now a QC practising from Field Court Tax Chambers in Grays Inn. He has had an involvement with human rights work for many years, and in 1997 was awarded an OBE for services to Chinese political refugees in the UK. In recent years he has become increasingly involved with issues concerning taxpayers’ rights and their practical protection.

Hope to see many of you there!

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