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Christina Voigt and Zen Makuch

Across the globe, environmental protection is in need of strong governance arrangements: arrangements that comprise effective environmental laws and regulations, a functioning administration and an independent judiciary. Courts, often perceived as the third pillar of power alongside the legislative and executive functions of the State, have an important role to play in defending, upholding and (for judicial activists) creating an environmental rule of law. At the same time, many courts and their judges face significant challenges in doing so effectively. This volume looks at the possibilities and limitations that courts and judges encounter in protecting the environment. Norms that seek to protect the environment, and the common values it represents, are widely dispersed. We find them in thousands of domestic laws and regulations; we find them in international and regional treaties and unwritten customary laws. Sometimes we do not find them at all.

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Xavier Oberson

Chapter 8 concentrates on all the EU Directives in the area of exchange of information. It starts with the Directive of 1977 and follows with the savings Directive of 2004, which introduces one of the first systems of automatic exchange of information on interests from savings paid to an EU natural person resident in another EU State. It then goes on by analyzing the various changes of the Directive on Administrative Cooperation, introduced in 2011 and modified several times thereafter, in order to take into account in particular the development at the OECD level of the standard of automatic exchange of information. Finally, the recent works in the area of exchange of special tax schemes is also described.

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Xavier Oberson

Chapter 3 analyses the modalities of exchange of information upon request, as provided for under double taxation conventions, and notably under Art. 26 of the OECD Model. The conditions of application of this provision (material scope, personal scope, and taxes covered) are discussed as well as frequent issues, based particularly on recent case law (notably interpretation of the standard of foreseeable relevance, identification of the taxpayer, or group request). In addition, the competence and secrecy rules are described. Finally, this chapter focuses on the limits of this provision, especially the domestic limits, principle of reciprocity, trade or business secret, public policy and the impact of bank secrecy.

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Edited by Rafael Leal-Arcas

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Xavier Oberson

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Xavier Oberson

Chapter 10 gives a broad description of the FATCA legislation, adopted by the United States in 2010 and implemented as of 2013. This new legislation, and notably the adoption of the intergovernmental agreements between States (so-called IGAS’s), designed to facilitate on a bilateral basis the implementation of the FATCA system, can appear a decisive factor which contributed to the emergence of the model of automatic exchange of information as the new global standard.

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Paul Nihoul and Iwakazu Takahashi

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Xavier Oberson

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Xavier Oberson

Chapter 1 is general introduction to the topic.

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Xavier Oberson

Chapter 2 gives a broad historical overview of the development of the rules on exchange of information in tax matters. It starts in 1927 with the first models of double taxation conventions developed at the League of Nations. It then describes the evolution of the OECD Model of a double taxation convention and notably of Art. 26 of such Model, which started in 1968 and continued to evolve, especially after 2009, as the global standard of exchange of information upon request. Finally, after the adoption of FATCA in 2010, and following the G20 mandate to the OECD, automatic exchange of information started to emerge as a global standard.