Alex Cobham ■ Tax Justice Network annual conference, July 2017: Preliminary programme and registration






City, University of London, 5-6 July 2017

Tax justice stands at a crossroads: after a period of sustained but partial progress, 2017 brings with it a strong risk of deterioration. This year’s annual conference will evaluate the extent of recent advances in international financial transparency, and against tax evasion and avoidance, and look ahead to the policy earthquakes likely to be wrought by the UK’s exit from the European Union, and the USA’s election of President Trump. With the UK at the head of the biggest global secrecy network, and the USA potentially the biggest threat to progress, tax justice stands at a crossroads.

At the same time, lower-income countries are more powerfully mobilised on tax justice issues than ever before, with Ecuador’s leadership of the G77 directed to the creation of a globally representative, intergovernmental tax body. Coupled with instability in the relationships between key high-income countries, this leaves the OECD’s effective role as the international rule-setter more uncertain than for many years.

Co-organised by the Association for Accountancy & Business Affairs (AABA),  City, University of London (CityPERC), and the Tax Justice Network (TJN),  this is the latest in an annual event series dating back to 2003. The events bring together researchers, academics, journalists, policy staff of civil society organisations, consultants and professionals, elected politicians and their researchers, government and international organisation officials.  The purpose is to facilitate research, open-minded debate and discussion, and to generate ideas and proposals to inform and shape political initiatives and mobilisation.

Register here:

There is a small charge for attendance and refreshments during the two days. Participants are usually expected to finance their own travel, although applications from students and others with limited means for bursary support will be considered. More information about this conference is available from: [email protected].

Preliminary programme (as of May 2017)

DAY ONE – 5 July 2017

08h30 – 09h00                             Registration and coffee


09h00 – 09h30               Welcome, introductions and framing: Global tax justice at a crossroads

Anastasia Nesvetailova (Director, CITYPERC)

Alex Cobham (Chief Executive, Tax Justice Network)                                   

09h30 – 11h00 Session One: Tax Justice for Human Rights

Chair: Vera Mshana (Ford) – tbc 

Liz Nelson (Tax Justice Network) Tax justice for women’s rights: After Colombia
Sergio Chaparro Hernández (CESR) Global Tax Justice: A human rights approach
Frederik Heitmüller ‘Our Tax System Should be…’ – Tracing the Evolution of Norms Guiding Tax Policy


11h00 – 11h30 Coffee


11h30 – 13h00             Session Two: International Progress I

Chair: Naomi Fowler (Tax Justice Network)

Rasmus Corlin Christensen (Copenhagen Business School) Professional Competition in Global Tax Reform: Tax Transparency in Global Wealth Chains
Martin Hearson (LSE) Transnational policy elites and the development of the international tax regime
Tovony Randriamanalina (Madagascar Revenue Authority) MNE profits’ allocation methodologies: how to make rules workable in developing countries?


13h00 – 14h00 Lunch


14h00 – 15h30  Parallel Session Three:

  1. International Progress II

Chair:  Andres Knobel (Tax Justice Network)

Celine Braumann (U. Wien)


The Evil Brother: Rethinking Redistribution through Indirect Tax
Wouter Lips; Dries Lesage (U. Ghent) TADAT: Institutional

Setup and Lessons for Future Initiatives

Christoph Trautvetter Topic: Evaluations of international progress since 2008, and the outlook today


  1. Profit Shifting I

Chair:  Sol Picciotto (BEPS Monitoring Group)

Mustapha Ndajiwo (FIRS) E-commerce: Innovation or Disruption? A Conundrum for Tax Policy
David Quentin (King’s/QMUL) Unitary taxation by formulary apportionment of the entire value chain
Alexandra Readhead (U. Oxford) Legal and Institutional Responses to Profit Shifting by Mining Multinationals in South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania


15h30 – 16h00 Tea break


 16h00 – 17h30 Session Four: Scale of Tax Injustice I

Chair:  Alex Cobham (Tax Justice Network)

Maya Forstater (CGD) Tax justice at a crossroads: Getting beyond the illicit financial flows big numbers
Javier Garcia-Bernardo; Jan Fichtner; Eelke M. Heemskerk; Frank W. Takes


Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks

in the Global Corporate Ownership Network

Petr Janský (Charles U., Prague) Country-by-Country Reporting Data and Locations of European Banks’ Activities and Profits

18h00: Pre-premiere buffet for speakers and Tax Justice Network staff, Frontline Club

19h00:           Premiere of new tax justice documentary film:

The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire

(if you’re not a speaker at this conference please do get your ticket quickly here to avoid disappointment)

                             Followed by Q&A panel: tbc

                             Venue: The Frontline Club, Marylebone 


DAY TWO – 6 July 2017

08h50 – 09h00 Welcome to day two

Prem Sikka (AABA)


09h00 – 10h30 Session Five: The Race to the Bottom I

Chair:  John Christensen (Tax Justice Network)

Saila N. Stausholm (Copenhagen Business School) Give us a break: The impact of tax holidays on developing countries
Henrique de Alencar (King’s) Tax competition in R&D policies: how Patent Boxes in industrialized countries promote a race to the bottom
Richard Murphy (City); Andrew Baker (SPERI) Tax spillovers: a new framework


10h30 – 11h00 Coffee / tea break


11h00 – 12h30 Session Six: Financial Secrecy I

Chair: Markus Meinzer (Tax Justice Network) 

Moran Harari (Tax Justice Network) A comprehensive review of the Financial Secrecy Index: Findings and implications for FSI 2018
Lauri Finér; Antti Tokola (U. Helsinki) The revolution of automatic exchange of information: How is the information utilised and what are the impacts?
Juan E. Valerdi (Universidad Nacional de La Plata de Argentina) Blacklisting of ‘tax havens’ and evolution of policy approaches in 9 Latin American countries. Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, El Salvado, Peru, Nicaragua and Honduras


12h30 – 13h30 Lunch

13h30 – 15h00 Session Seven: The Race to the Bottom II

Chair: Nick Shaxson (Tax Justice Network)

Rose Bridger (Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement) Airport-linked special economic zones, aerotropolis projects and the race to the bottom
Julius Otusanya (U. Lagos) The Impact of Tax Dodging on Tax Justice in Developing Countries: Some Theory and Evidence
Philip Reed Do Tax Incentives “Sweeten” the deal-making in development?


15h00 – 15h30 Coffee / tea break


15h30 – 16h30 Parallel Session Eight:

  1. Financial Secrecy II

Chair:  Horiana Secara (Tax Justice Network)

Paul Beckett (Synceritas) Beneficial Ownership of Companies – G20 High Level Principles – A Paper Tiger?
Maximilian Heywood (TI) Is the global anti-money laundering system fit for purpose?


  1. Horizons

Chair: Cathy Cross (Tax Justice Network)

Paul Harnett; Laura Bannister (World Basic Income) Taking Tax To The Global Level: Combining Southern Initiatives To Create A World Basic Income
Henry Leveson-Gower (Promoting Economic Pluralism) The 10 Years After [the crisis] Campaign, and Pluralist Economics etc


16h30 – 17h30 Session Nine: Panel debate: Tax transparency: Should corporate tax returns be public?

Moderator:        Charles Abugre (Tax Justice Network)

Presenter:          Prem Sikka (AABA)

Respondents:     tbc, including Richard Murphy (City)


17h30 – 18h00 Closing session

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Comments • 3

  • AvatarMr, Rajendra Adhikari
    June 1, 2017 - 3:36 pm

    We Rural Area Development Programme, RADP is a national level NGO working in Nepal since 1994 in various community development programmes, we are also interested to work partnership with your organization, if it is possible please keep our organization name in your mailing list and send the update information with training , conference and other opportunity in our email.

  • AvatarMr, Rajendra Adhikari
    June 1, 2017 - 3:38 pm

    Rural Area Development Programme, RADP is a national level NGO working in Nepal since 1994 in various community development programmes, we are also interested to work partnership with your organization, if it is possible please keep our organization name in your mailing list and send the update information with training , conference and other opportunity in our email.

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