“Taxation under International Investment Law:
A Round Table on Cairn Energy v India”.
Panel Discussion moderated by Toni Marzal
Taxation has become in recent years a central topic of public discussion in the global political economy, as governments seek to balance the budget and address the ravages of the economic downturn. A key preoccupation has been the ability of multinationals to inappropriately avoid paying taxes at source countries, through carefully designed offshore indirect transfers of shares. Such arrangements aim to avoid paying capital gains taxes in the States where the underlying assets are located, an issue that is particularly acute in the Global South.
State efforts at curtailing this avoidance strategy can however run against the limits of international law, and in particular those set by international investment law, whose overall aim is to protect foreign investors against regulatory instability. Representative of this conflict between States’ powers of taxation and international law guarantees is the recent Cairn Energy v India award (see here), ordering India to compensate the investors to the tune of $1,2 billion, one of the highest ever rendered against a country by an international arbitration tribunal. At the heart of the case lies an amendment passed in 2012 to the Indian Tax Act that purported to apply retrospectively, and which has given rise to high-profile claims by a number of foreign investors, including the Vodafone and Vedanta groups, as well as Cairn Energy.
As an opportunity to reflect on the fraught and evolving relationship between taxation and international law, the Glasgow Centre for International Law & Security has invited a panel of distinguished experts in both domains to discuss the many angles of the award and its deeper implications. As always, there will be a Q&A session with the audience.
Join us for what promises to be a fascinating and important webinar on Thursday, 25 March 2021 at 3.00pm UK Time.
To register for the event, please visit Eventbrite website: https://bit.ly/3lbVQo8
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