Not available in 2020/21
LL4Z2      Half Unit
Principles of Taxation and Tax Disputes

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


The course is suitable both for students who have not studied taxation before and for those who have. It is recommended for students who have not studied taxation previously, as well as for those who are studying any of the other tax courses offered at LLM/MSc level.

Course content

This course looks at how tax systems work and the principles that lie behind tax systems. Topics covered include the reasons for taxation and the main types of tax, how income is taxed, how the tax administration operates, and the impact of tax competition among countries on international tax policy. The course uses tax disputes from G20 countries to illustrate the issues discussed. The course is suitable for those who have not studied taxation before, as well as for those with a background in tax who are interested in exploring the principles of taxation in greater depth.


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

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Appropriate readings from journal articles and from books including: Avi-Yonah, Sartori and Marian, Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law; Messere et al., Tax Policy: Theory and Practice in OECD Countries; Baistrocchi, A Theory of International Taxation; Dagan, International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation; Murphy and Nagel, The Myth of Ownership, Taxes and Justice; Thuronyi, Comparative Tax Law; James and Nobes, The Economics of Taxation; Mirrlees et al., Tax By Design. Further materials include: Morse and Williams, Davies Principles of Tax Law; Kay and King, The British Tax System; Thuronyi, Tax Law Design and Drafting. Detailed reading lists will be provided during the course via Moodle.

Recommended preliminary reading: Avi-Yonah, Sartori and Marian, Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law (Oxford University Press, 2011).


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: 12

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills