Why this book?
Tax treaties are generally concluded in multiple authentic languages. This practice adds a factor that is to be taken into account when such treaties are interpreted and, in some cases, increases the complexity of that task.
This book aims at identifying and clarifying the most common issues emerging in the interpretation of multilingual tax treaties. It suggests how an interpreter should tackle and disentangle such issues under public international law, with emphasis on the arguments to be used and the elements and items of evidence the interpreter can rely on to support his construction of the treaty.
The issues of interpretation of multilingual treaties dealt with in this study may be divided between those of a general nature and those specific to multilingual tax treaties. Particular attention is paid to the interaction between the renvoi to the contracting states’ domestic laws, encompassed in article 3(2) of OECD Model-based tax treaties, and the linguistic aspects of those treaties, including their multilingualism.
The study first develops a normative (prescriptive) theory of treaty interpretation based on modern linguistic and, more specifically, semantic theories. It then carries out a positive (descriptive) analysis, which highlights the generally accepted principles and rules of treaty interpretation under public international law. This twofold approach is intended to (i) carve out from the normative legal theory the results potentially conflicting with the generally accepted principles and rules of international law, and (ii) show how the normative legal theory might be applied to resolve cases where no common legal solution has been reached.
This book is part of the IBFD Doctoral Series
Paolo Arginelli obtained his PhD from Leiden University. He is Adjunct Professor and Researcher of International and Tax Law at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy and a postdoctoral researcher at IBFD. He practises as an international tax advisor in Lugano, Switzerland.