The University Act provides for a total of 90 ECTS for the LL.M. program. The program is divided into eight blocks of lectures and comprises the following subjects:
Drafting Legal Opinions
In practice, it is not only important to acquire in-depth knowledge about tax law and to seek for the most convincing legal arguments. It is also important to convince clients, tax administrations, courts or readers of those arguments by writing clearly, concisely and in a structured manner. Thus, the lecture aims to provide a better understanding of how to structure legal arguments and draft legal opinions. The course will begin with questions and discussions about different issues regarding legal opinions, such as the differences between legal opinions and academic papers, the expectations of the potential audiences, and the different styles of structure and writing. Afterwards, practical case studies in tax treaty law will be analyzed by teams of students, who will then write legal opinions from different perspectives (taxpayer, tax administration, court). By sharing and discussing the different experiences in class, the lecture intends to develop an understanding of how your writing skills may turn a good legal opinion into a great legal opinion.
Environmental taxes are often described as cost-efficient policy instruments to promote environmental protection. The objective of this lecture is to shed light on the tax design and main objectives of environmental and environmentally driven taxes and tax incentives. Moreover, the lecture will analyse the main legal issues surrounding the adoption of environmental tax measures at the national, EU and international levels. Although the lecture will not focus on one specific type of environmental tax measure, attention will be paid to the specific case of carbon taxes.
European Corporate Law
The aim of the course is to give students an overview of European company law and related fields of European capital markets law. The course begins with an introduction to the relevant statutory provisions (provisions in the EC Treaty, directives, regulations, and recommendations). It then focuses on the European harmonization directives and tries to outline the main issues of European company law (registration, representation, protection of creditors and minority shareholders, merger and de-merger, accounting and auditing). The course also deals with the relevant decisions of the ECJ and takes a closer look at the European forms of companies (e.g. SE, SCE).
International Tax English
The efforts to develop tax treaty models under the auspices of the OECD and the United Nations have brought together states from all over the world with a diversity of legal traditions and linguistic backgrounds. In such an international context, where states are bound to have different understandings and meanings for terms, a set of highly specialized terms and definitions have developed in order to achieve, as far as possible, uniform understandings. As the LL.M. program in international tax law is taught in English and English plays an increasingly important role in international business and tax, this lecture will lay the foundations for applying technical tax terminology in English appropriately and accurately in professional and academic writing and in oral communications. Participants will practice academic legal writing and research in this field, take part in speaking exercises and receive individualized feedback during the course.
Trends in Global Taxation
The course endeavors to bridge the gap between theory and policy and to link up domestic and international tax considerations. The issues discussed are those which are currently on the agenda of international bodies such as the OECD, the G20 and the EU. The approach is comparative and draws upon the different approaches being followed by governments around the globe. Discussion focuses on four related issues. The first is to identify the general trends in tax reforms: Why have countries adopted different approaches and what is the trade-off between achieving efficient, fair, and simple tax systems? The second theme examines the impact of new players (new countries, new types of MNEs, and new organizations) on the existing international rules of the game in the tax area. The third theme looks at what is meant by a competitive tax environment and how countries are trying to achieve such an environment, both from a policy and administrative perspective. The last theme examines how the new emphasis on tax transparency is influencing the behavior of governments and taxpayers and what policy options are currently being explored by governments to improve international cooperation to counter offshore non-compliance. The aim is to prepare students to be in a position to contribute to the ongoing debate on the role of tax systems in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth patterns, raising the revenues that governments need to finance the services demanded by their citizens and doing this in a way which achieves a fair sharing of the tax burden.<br /><br />
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