Current Issues in Tax and Public Finance

Subject LAWS70088 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
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:

This subject offers students the opportunity to engage with current issues in tax law and policy. Tax reform is on the political agenda but the pathway to reform and the best tax law and policy choices for Australia are far from clear. Meanwhile, current tax law poses increasing challenges. Students who successfully complete the subject will have a deepened understanding of tax principle and of design and administration issues in tax law including a solid understanding of contemporary tax reform debates, and will have acquired strong critical analysis skills in tax law.

The subject will comprise nine classes, scheduled on Wednesday evenings. After Week 1 (6 pm – 8 pm), the remaining eight classes will run on specified dates from 5.30 pm – 8 pm and each will comprise the presentation and discussion of a research paper in tax by leading scholars, tax practitioners, judges and policy-makers from around Australia and internationally. Each will comprise of a class discussion among participants, before participation in a presentation and discussion of the paper by the author, coordinator and invited guests from the profession and academia.

Learning Outcomes:

A candidate who has successfully completed the subject should:

  • Have an appreciation of the importance of principle in relation to taxation law
  • Have an understanding of tax policy and design issues in taxation law
  • Have acquired strong research skills in the area of taxation law
  • Have developed a deep understanding of an area of taxation law
  • Contribute to the understanding of taxation law.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • 1,000 word written response to two papers presented to the seminar (10% each) (20%)
  • Take-home examination (70%) (7 – 10 November)
  • 7,000 word research paper (70%) (10 November) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the 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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