Apple, Ireland, EU, Tax Avoidance, Margrethe Vestager, CCCTB


I think you have that the wrong way round, unless you’re arguing that judges are political, but then once you’re down that road everything is political.


Apple, the Irish Government, and the entire Irish commentariat class seem certain (at least publicly) that this appeal will “succeed”.

Is this confidence warranted?

What sort of timeline can we expect for the case to be heard?


They can be, and if they are, everything is political (i.e. welcome to an Italian Civil Law court).

Civil law works well in countries where Citizens are prone to being upstanding (i.e. more Northern European) but not in countries where Citizens are not (i.e. more Southern European). Civil Law gives far more power to judges. You have to be confident in your ability to control them (and their impartiality). Common Law gives power to the people (f**k off your honour, I followed the rules). In the area of tax however, I think Common Law is a lot weaker.


Common Law v Roman Law. You have it ass backwards… All judges in Roman (a.k.a) Civil Law countries are by definition political. They are very much an explicit arm of the (very political) state. Hence investigative magistrates. Roman Law is all about state control. Of every facet of society.

Any real familiarity with the French or Italian legal system and how it works day to day would soon disabuse you of any misconceptions on this subject. It is far easier for lawyers to game a statute based system than a principles / case law based system. Why do you think Italian legal cases last so long? Roman Law is loophole heaven for lawyers. That is why US Federal Tax law runs to 70,000 plus pages of statute law. Statute law of this type is very much a Roman Law import into Common Law. It did not happen by accident. Very much to the benefit of those who can afford expensive lawyers to find loopholes and contradictions in the statute law. The application of purely principle based regulation would end the most egregious tax evasion very quickly. Like Apples.

The hands off approach of Common Law is completely alien to Roman Law. Which is why Common Law countries tend to have a solid history of stable long term democracy and Roman law countries dont. In Roman Law countries as a citizen you are little more than a chattel of the state. The state makes you very aware of this should you forget your place. And why the local mayors office knows when you have decorated the back room in your house. The Roman Law state is a deeply intrusive state.

Saying all that, the first act of the Irish Free State was to dismantle the lowest rung of the inherited common law judicial system, the system of j.p’s, and make it overtly political from the get go. The tended to be either Castle Catholics, or worse, stolid Protestant middle class. So not amenable to the easy going corruption of the new political masters. Even worse, so were most of the magistrates and judges. That was soon taken care of so that within a decade or two the Free State judicial system from top to bottom was full of political appointees and political hacks who most definitely did know exactly which side of their bread was buttered. And who supplied the butter. Their political masters. And it has remained that way till this day.

Compare and contrast with, say , the legal system in New Zealand since 1931. Not perfectly apolitical. But reasonably close.

So dont blame Common Law for a uniquely Irish culture of corruption. Small Common Law countries are far from perfect. Newfoundland pre 1948 comes to mind. But the pervasive culture of corruption in Ireland is more like Roman Law countries in Latin America than any other Common Law jurisdiction. Your unfamiliarity with past legal scandals in Sweden, to name just one country in Scandinavia, indicates that even the most Lutheran northern countries cannot escape the authoritarian tendencies of Roman Law. Although they use a serious leavening of Germanic Law to ameliorate the worst tendencies of the mostly Napoleonic Law they use. Plus they have an exceptionally strong civil society. But if you want to know just how flexible the Code Napoléon is you dont need to look at Vichy. Occupied Denmark till 1943 is a very interesting case study of Civil Law in action.

So just because Ireland has abused the principals of Common Law to destruction does not mean it is not superior (i.e the least worst) to the alternatives. If you have ever seen how Inland Revenue dealt with egregious tax evasion by UK entities over the years, stuff that would be untouchable in France or Germany (DB anyone?), then you realize just how superior the Common Law approach is to the Civil Law one. The main problem in the UK is that it needs to set up a special court to deal with SFO cases. As they are far beyond the capability of the current High Court to prosecute successfully. Which is why people like Maxwell were able to flourish so long.


That is exactly what I said.

Civil Law (i.e. EU law) is “potentially” very political (the judge can use the pre-amble for interpretation).

Common Law (i.e. Irish / UK law) shields against the state (the rules are the rules, regardless of bad wording).

Unfortunately in tax law, Common Law is a problem with limiting avoidance.

Hence why many tax-havens are Common Law bases.


How does Maritime Law fit in here? Asking for a friend named Ben.


Interesting post

On the above is there any evidence to suggest these establishment acolytes were any less corrupt that those that followed post independence?


“learned” on NewsTalk Breakfast this morning that the bump in Irish GDP was all down to Apple’s maneuvers and transfers.
Fair play to observer35 and general discussion here for getting that information out into the open much earlier.


Irish Examiner front page today about Apple and Irish GDP. Vinny B talked about it for a short while last night…all seemed surprised.
Old news I said to the Mrs , ThePin said that a couple of weeks ago"

#130 … 19912.html`



Ha ha. Hilarious. I presume Karl will be thanking Observer35 and the Pin?

#132 … 3435,d.ZGg … 1473204078

enjoyable schadenfreude of butt hurt American WSjers


I can’t find any reference to her promoting this

you’re a fucking genius HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.


So says Bloomberg here:

Google is not helping me find that SBP article. Anyone come across it ?


Or we could just tax their revenue at, say, 20% and let them figure out what is profit or not.

With a stateless company, I don’t see why we wouldn’t just take all their money.


Even our little army, could successfully lead an assault on 70 Sir John Rogersons Quay?
There must be well over €150bn in “stateless” assets inside it?


Holman W. Jenkins Jr. sure knows how to write a dog of an article. That’s a simply awful piece of writing.


+1 not only is there a “green jersey” but a “red white and blue” one too


Absolutely. For the avoidance of doubt I only linked for the lols.

It astounds me how even a prestigious news paper can be such a fact free zone. In the same vein The Irish Times also gave Farage a slot for his horseshit today.


I see all of this as free advertising for Ireland INC and the* safe place to do bizniss* palaver we specialise in. :smiley:


Liz dons the green jersey, green wig and hat, drapes herself in the tricolour and starts singing A Nation once again in today’s Indo

Politicians’ reactions to Europe’s ruling on Apple show who is fit to govern State - and who is not … 34610.html