LL4AY      Half Unit
International Tax Systems

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Eduardo Baistrocchi NAB 7.33


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: International Business Law, Taxation.

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


Students should have at least a basic knowledge of a tax system of a country (not necessarily the UK) or be studying LL4Z1 Business Taxation.

Course content

This course examines how taxation applies to transactions in the international context. The focus is on rules that operate at an international or supra-national level, though we will look at some domestic rules that are important to international taxation and that can be found in a number of tax systems. The course will look at a series of international transactions, starting with the very basic example of an export and import of goods and culminating with the treatment of some complex and artificial structures. The features of tax systems will be studied through these transactions, particularly those features found in double tax conventions and in the law of the European Union. In the first part of the course this will be supplemented by introductions to some key foundation concepts that are needed in the study of international taxation. Throughout the course examples will be drawn from the tax systems of a range of G20 countries.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term. Students will usually have two additional hours in the Summer Term. This year teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

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

Recommended preliminary reading: Avi-Yonah, Reuven S., 'Double Tax Treaties: An Introduction' (2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1048441; Baistrocchi, Eduardo A., 'The Use and Interpretation of Tax Treaties in the Emerging World: Theory and Implications' [2008] British Tax Review 352. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1273089; Roxan, Ian, 'Limits to Globalisation: Some Implications for Taxation, Tax Policy, and the Developing World' (January 30, 2012). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 3/2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1995633


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: 18

Average class size 2019/20: 18

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills