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Litigating EU Tax Law in International, National and Non-EU National Courts – Review 1

Litigating EU Tax Law in International, National and Non-EU National Courts, by Daniel Sarmiento, Domingo J. Jiménez-Valladolid de L’Hotellerie-Fallois et al. (IBFD 2014).

Reviewed by Christiana HJI Panayi, British Tax Review B.T.R. 3 (2016), pp. 368-369.


Litigating EU Tax Law in International, National and Non-EU National CourtsThis book follows the same format of all books edited following a GREIT conference. This time, the conference was held in September 2012 in Madrid at the Instituto de Empresa. The topic examined in the GREIT conference and later on encompassed in this book is, however, incredibly useful how EU tax law is litigated in EU courts, Member State courts and courts of third countries and the problems and challenges faced by EU tax litigants.

The book is divided into four parts and 13 chapters. The first part focuses on EU tax law litigation before the Court of Justice and offers the perspective of a tax litigator of the European Commission. This chapter analyses the inner functioning of the litigation services of the European Commission and the remedies and procedures available to deal with infringements from the Member States. The two main procedures for tax litigation (preliminary reference and infringement procedure) are analysed in terms of cost and time, and in terms of potential results.

In the second part the position of EU national courts when applying EU tax law is examined. This part is understandably limited, as only the perspectives of Italian, English, Finnish and Spanish courts are offered. Part three deals with the influence of EU tax law in litigation before international courts (for example the World Trade Organization (WTO)) and in international arbitration. It is conceded that the relevance of EU tax law is very limited in these courts but "tax litigating before the WTO Appellate Body or before arbitration tribunals can serve as useful experience when litigating at EU level".1

Finally, part four looks at the approach followed by some non-EU national courts when applying and interpreting EU tax law, that is, the outreach of EU tax law. This is a very original angle that has not been studied very much in academia. There are chapters on the application of EU tax law in Turkish courts, Latin American courts, in Swiss courts and the Netherlands Associated Territories. The final chapter contains some concluding remarks on the interaction between national courts and the Court of Justice, as well as the relevance of EU law in WTO law, international arbitration and in third countries.

The growing complexity and sophistication of EU tax litigation makes the wealth of knowledge offered in this book invaluable. The book offers very useful insights to readers both within the EU and in third countries. It identifies the issues that need further examination and provides an excellent benchmark for further research, which hopefully will be undertaken, in the procedural aspects of EU tax law.

Christiana HJI Panayi*





*Senior Lecturer in Tax Law, Queen Mary, University of London, Centre for Commercial Law Studies and researcher at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.


1D. Sarmiento and D. Jimenez-Valladolid de L'Hotellerie-Fallois (eds), Litigating EU Tax Law in International, National and Non-EU National Courts (The Netherlands: IBFD, 2014), 7 of General Report.