New book: Tax Havens and International Human Rights

Date: 07 Jun 2017


Paul Beckett is senior counsel at Mann Benham, with over thirty-five years’ experience as a lawyer, both within the international private banking and fiduciary services industry and in private practice. In his new book, Tax Havens and International Human Rights, he takes a different approach to examining tax havens, and offers a detailed analysis of structures and the laws which generate and support these. The book makes plain the unscrupulous or merely indifferent ways in which, using tax havens, businesses and individuals systematically undermine and for all practical purposes eliminate access to remedies under international human rights law. It exposes as abusive of human rights a complex structural web of trusts, companies, partnerships, foundations, nominees and fiduciaries; secrecy, immunity and smoke screens.

In this book, Beckett also lays bare the cynical manipulation by tax havens of traditional legal forms and conventions, and the creation of entities so bizarre and chimeric that they defy classification. Yet from the perspective of the tax havens themselves these are entirely legitimate; the product of duly enacted domestic laws.

This book is not a work of investigative journalism in the style of the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the Panama Papers, exposing political or financial corruption, money laundering or the financing of terrorism. All those elements are present of course, but the focus is on international human rights and how tax havens not merely facilitate but actively connive at their breach. The tax havens are compromising the international human rights legal continuum.


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