LL4CG      Half Unit
Understanding Issues in Tax Law and Policy

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ian Roxan NAB 7.25 and Mr Eduardo Baistrocchi NAB7.33


This course is available on the Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is required for the following LLM specialism: Taxation. NB: The monthly Taxation Seminars are available to all with an interest in taxation including LLM and MSc students. Students wishing to attend the Taxation Seminars are very welcome. For more information, see the Law Department or LSE Financial Markets Group web pages.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.


Students will be expected to be taking other tax courses or to have a good background in taxation.

Course content

This course considers the key principles of tax policy (including the development and interpretation of tax law), and the methodology of developing and applying these principles, in the context of a range of current issues in taxation and tax policy, and often with an interdisciplinary approach. It will use the monthly Taxation Seminars during the Michaelmas Term to provide students with direct exposure to current debates in taxation. The monthly seminars bring together a wide variety of participants, including lawyers, economists, accountants and government officials. Those attending the meetings are encouraged to participate, and the meetings provide a forum for topical discussion on taxation. The topics for the seminars are chosen each year from subjects of current interest.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

10 weekly two-hour seminars in the Michaelmas Term in a variable format, including seminar-discussions and monthly Taxation Seminars attended by a range of tax professionals.

There will be a reading week in Week 6 of the MT.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to submit one 2,000-word formative essay.

Indicative reading

Indicative reading: James and Nobes, The Economics of Taxation (2009), (Birmingham: Fiscal Publications, 9th ed.); Mirrlees, et al., Tax by Design: the Mirrlees Review (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press: 2011); Mirrlees, et al. (eds), Dimensions of Tax Design: the Mirrlees Review (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010); Lamb, et al. (eds), Taxation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Research (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004); Murphy and Nagel, The Myth of Ownership (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002); Kaplow, “Rules Versus Standards: An Economic Analysis” (1992), 42 Duke L. J. 557; Weisbach, “Formalism in the Tax Law” (1999), 66 U. Chicago L. Rev. 680.

Detailed reading lists will be provided during the course via Moodle.


Essay (100%, 8000 words).

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: 15

Average class size 2015/16: 14

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills