In keeping with our commitment to constantly provide our clients with the most up to date legal advice, our associate Elena Christodoulou, has participated in a two-day seminar organized by ERA (the Academy of European Law) concerning recent case law of the European Court of Human Rights (the ECtHR) in taxation matters. The event took place in Strasbourg on 10th and 11th October and featured sessions conducted by internationally renowned academics and lawyers.
The detailed discussions at the seminar were aimed at providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of landmark and recent jurisprudence of the ECtHR as they relate to taxation matters. It should not be forgotten that the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) extend to cases in the area of taxation.
Specific case law updates relevant to several forms of taxation were offered in respect of the following:
- Article 14 ECHR – Prohibition of discrimination
- Article 1 of Protocol no.1 to the ECHR – The right to property
- Article 8 ECHR – The right to respect for private and family life in the context of exchange of information
- Article 4 of Protocol no. 7 to the ECHR – 'ne bis in idem' (restriction on a defendant being tried multiple times for the same offence)
- Article 6 ECHR – the right to a fair trial
Unsurprisingly the possible impact of these on future cases resulted in some lively and practical discussions on how best to use the ECHR case law to ensure effective protection of clients' interests. Along with other participants, Elena also received invaluable expert advice on the correct procedure and format for submitting a case to the Strasbourg Court as well as the opportunity to visit the Court itself. With the future of Cyprus very much intertwined with that of the EU we regard it as vital for our clients that our people have familiarity with its institutions and procedures.