Legal Pragmatism: A Useful and Adequate Explanatory Model for Danish Adjudication on Tax Avoidance?

Peter Koerver Schmidt*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The author explores whether legal pragmatism may function as a useful and adequate explanatory model for the case law on tax avoidance unfolding in the Danish Supreme Court. In doing so, the underlying ideas of philosophical and legal pragmatism are initially re-visited while the general interpretational approach of the Danish judiciary is brie!y outlined. Subsequently, the general approach to interpretation of Danish tax law is presented and the prevailing opinions on tax avoidance in the Danish doctrine are touched upon. This provide the necessary foundation for the following legal analysis of the Danish Supreme Courts’ case law on tax avoidance. Based on this analysis, it is concluded that legal pragmatism may actually function as a useful and adequate explanatory model for the Danish Supreme Court’s case law on tax avoidance. Awareness of this pragmatic inclination may facilitate a better understanding of the Danish Supreme Court’s approach in di"cult cases on tax avoidance and enhance the possibilities of predicting the outcome of such cases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Tax Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 1. January 2021

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