International taxation is a fascinating combination of law, economics and politics. What we call “international tax law” is actually a complex system of domestic law, treaty law and soft-law initiatives that brings together the law governing relations between taxpayers and the state and the law governing relationships among states. It is also the most rapidly developing topic of international law at the moment, as governments attempt to respond to the worldwide public outcry at perceived abuses of the global system and at the same time safeguard their own interests. This one-year, full-time programme offers students the insight and skills they need to deal with this complex area of the law.
The participation of IBFD is a unique feature of this programme. IBFD is a tax research foundation based in Amsterdam with a local presence in the United States, Asia and China. It is well known internationally for its wide range of publications, academic activities, courses for practitioners and work on government consultancy missions. Its international staff also teaches on LLM programmes throughout the world and carries out commissioned research for the United Nations and global clients such as Fortune 500 companies. IBFD houses an extensive, specialized tax law library.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is participating in the LLM programme through its Amsterdam Centre for Tax Law (ACTL). The ACTL staff includes a number of internationally renowned professors and PhD students from many different countries. Its staff members also have extensive experience in the advisory, government and judicial branches of the profession. In addition to its considerable research output and teaching activities, the ACTL organizes a lively programme of conferences and short courses.
The core teaching staff for the advanced LLM programme is drawn from the UvA staff and the IBFD research staff. Guest classes are given by experts drawn from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, including representatives of the judiciary, inter-governmental organizations, government bodies and experienced practitioners. This year in Amsterdam therefore gives students an unrivalled opportunity to build their own professional network.
The class size is limited to 25 students to allow lively class discussion and ensure that students receive individual attention. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit and their ability to contribute to discussion within the programme. Students admitted to the programme have access to study facilities in the UvA and the IBFD office, unrestricted access to the IBFD Tax Research Platform and enjoy a dedicated social programme. They also receive special support from the UvA with finding accommodation and settling in and special support from the IBFD library staff with finding materials for their studies.
A final bonus of this programme is that it is held in Amsterdam, a city that has plenty to offer students, from its picturesque canals to its highly tolerant nightlife. It is the main cultural centre of the Netherlands, with a lively theatre, film and concert programme and many festivals in or near the city. There are plenty of sports facilities, some available specifically for university students, although many students get all the exercise they want by using their bicycle to travel everywhere. And the city is relaxed and easily accessible, offering a high quality of life.
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