Tax Effective Writing: Written Advocacy

Subject LAWS70318 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Students should have studied tax at graduate or undergraduate level and have gained some practical experience in tax.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Tax advocacy today, like other advocacy in Australia and overseas, is largely conducted in writing. To succeed in advising or advocating for clients, whether private or government, tax professionals need outstanding written advocacy skills. Taught by leading lights in tax advocacy, Justice Jennifer Davies (formerly SC at the Victorian Bar) and Mr John de Wijn QC, with Mr Nasos Kaskani, this subject will enable tax professionals to develop an effective and persuasive written style in tax advocacy. The subject will focus on the skill of writing key tax documents and developing precedents for future use, including letters of advice and opinions, objections, tribunal and court documents and written submissions, including appeal documents, ruling requests and briefing expert witnesses.

Principal topics will include:

  • Effective legal writing: Writing techniques directed to persuade in a clear and effective way
  • Writing letters of advice and opinions: section 264 information requests
  • Objections
  • Tribunal and court proceedings
  • Appeal documents
  • Applications for special leave to appeal
  • Written submissions; e.g. to GAAR panel, court proceedings and position papers
  • Ruling requests
  • Briefing the expert witness.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should have developed the skill of writing effective and persuasive tax documents. This subject will look at key documents that need to be prepared in tax practice. It will focus on how documents can best be written to comply with the applicable legal requirements while being persuasive, effective and readable. At the completion of the subject, students should have a set of precedents relating to the documents dealt with.


Class participation (20%)

Seminar presentation with drafting exercise (30%)

Mooting exercise, including written advocacy (50%)

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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