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Alice through the looking glass: some reflections

Alice through the looking glass: some reflections ice through the ooking g ass: some Paul Farmer, Legal Secretary a t the European C s u oaf Justice ~ 'Est-ce que la justice est de ce monde?' asked Mr. Vermeend, the Netherlands State Secretary of Finance, in a recent highly critical editorial, referring colourfully to the Court's judgments as the 'Alice in Wonderland of fiscal legislation'. Although by no means convinced by all the criticisms listed by Mr. Vermeend, still less by all the conclusions drawn from them, I think his concern is understandable. His criticisms raise however a number of general issues which require consideration from a slightly broader perspective. Moreover, in a critique supporting proposals for organizational change one might have expected a somewhat more balanced review of the Court's record in the tax sphere, which remains remarkable. Significantly the Court's success is largely attributable to its broader vision as a court of EC law rather than tax law. For example, its rulings on Art. 95 of the Treaty in the early 19705, inspired by the role of that Art. within the general scheme of the Treaty, made a significant contribution to the free movement of goods within the EC. In the sphere of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png EC Tax Review Kluwer Law International

Alice through the looking glass: some reflections

EC Tax Review , Volume 6 (1) – Mar 1, 1997

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Publisher
Kluwer Law International
Copyright
Copyright © Kluwer Law International
ISSN
0928-2750
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Abstract

ice through the ooking g ass: some Paul Farmer, Legal Secretary a t the European C s u oaf Justice ~ 'Est-ce que la justice est de ce monde?' asked Mr. Vermeend, the Netherlands State Secretary of Finance, in a recent highly critical editorial, referring colourfully to the Court's judgments as the 'Alice in Wonderland of fiscal legislation'. Although by no means convinced by all the criticisms listed by Mr. Vermeend, still less by all the conclusions drawn from them, I think his concern is understandable. His criticisms raise however a number of general issues which require consideration from a slightly broader perspective. Moreover, in a critique supporting proposals for organizational change one might have expected a somewhat more balanced review of the Court's record in the tax sphere, which remains remarkable. Significantly the Court's success is largely attributable to its broader vision as a court of EC law rather than tax law. For example, its rulings on Art. 95 of the Treaty in the early 19705, inspired by the role of that Art. within the general scheme of the Treaty, made a significant contribution to the free movement of goods within the EC. In the sphere of

Journal

EC Tax ReviewKluwer Law International

Published: Mar 1, 1997

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