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It has been estimated that every year governments around the world lose nearly $500 billion in tax revenue through abusive tax practices perpetrated mostly by corporate entities. Providing texture to that number, the ongoing disclosure of global tax scandals, including FinCEN Files (2020), Paradise Papers (2017), Panama Papers (2016), SwissLeaks (2015), and Lux Leaks (2014) reveals a profound interconnection between corrupt practices and tax evasion (and aggressive tax avoidance). Although research has considerably advanced our collective understanding of interconnections between different forms of financial crimes, the relationship between tax crimes and corruption is largely understudied and critical questions remain unanswered. Open issues include the exploration of how the combination of these two criminal phenomena—corruption and tax abuse—interferes with the activities of public and private institutions, affects society, and distorts justice.

This Symposium aims to begin filling the research and analytical gap by probing such intimate connections and their complex social, economic, political, and legal origins and implications. In analyzing how corruption and tax crime adversely affect society, the Symposium adopts a broad conception of justice in a liberal society. Reflecting the subject’s complexity, the Symposium approaches the research questions not simply from the perspective of various lenses of legality (e.g., criminal law, criminal justice, tax law, business law), but also from a multidisciplinary perspective. This is achieved by building on the contributions of researchers with different backgrounds and expertise to more comprehensively encapsulate and contextualize these dynamic and sweeping issues. Through the integration of legal perspectives with socio-economic, criminological, ethical, and political ones, the Symposium offers innovative research findings and stimulates further discussion. Given the scope and scale of the interconnections between corruption and tax evasion, the articles in the symposium draw on global, regional, and national case studies—which collectively generate observations and approaches that can resonate across legal regimes.


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21 Feb 2023
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  • Subject
    • Criminal Law

    • Law and Society

    • Taxation

  • Journal title
    • Duke Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems

  • Volume
    • 85

  • Issue
    • 4

  • Pagination
    • i-viii

  • Date submitted

    21 February 2023