Taxpayers’ Right of Defence in the International Context: The Case of Exchange of Tax Information and a Proposal for the “English” Wednesbury Doctrine as the New OECD (BEPS) Standard

This contribution considers the case of the exchange of tax information as a demonstration of the lack of adequate taxpayer protection within the BEPS Project and, more generally, under the current legal framework of international taxation. After having determined the primary causes of the weakness of taxpayer protection under the current legal framework and providing examples, this article adopts a comparative perspective and performs an analysis of what is known in the English legal system as the Wednesbury doctrine: specifically, the basis of the judicial reviewability of decisions taken by public authorities. That doctrine is then proposed as the basic conceptualization of a generally applicable concept of judicial review, to be endorsed at an international level with the purpose of providing the taxpayer with effective protection of its rights in situations in which more than one legal system is involved.