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About the Master of Advanced Studies in International Tax Law

The one-year full-time program consists of ten months of courses (September through June) and two months of the research and writing of the paper (July and August). The course work comprises a total of nine courses which vary in length from 1 to 12 weeks. Courses are not taught parallel but consecutively, i.e. the new course will not start until the exam of the previous course has been given. Each week typically comprises 16 to 20 class room hours. Because of the seminar format, the students are expected to actively participate in the classroom sessions and may be required to prepare oral and written presentations. It should be emphasised that the preparation work is usually quite time-demanding, and that average LLM student should expect a total preparation time for 4 hours of class to be between 8 to 12 hours. In order to cope with the requirements of the programme, students should make their studies their first priority and are dissuaded from taking up part-time employment during the Program.

For research undertaken during the Program and for the preparation of the LLM (Adv.) paper, students will be able to use – in addition to the law library of Leiden University – the library facilities of the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation in Amsterdam.

The Program’s academic year traditionally  begin in the last week of August or the first of September. The Program is divided into two semesters. The first part of the Program (Fall term) begins with the comprehensive ‘Fundamentals’ course, aimed at bringing the students, who have a quite varied background, up to the same starting level for the substantive courses that follow. During the first days of the Program, the students are required to take an English writing test to demonstrate their skill in English drafting, needed for later submissions of written work and ultimately, for their LLM (Adv.) paper. The balance of the Fall term is devoted to the most comprehensive course of the Program: Tax Treaties. Followed then by Customs Duties & Excise Taxes. 

The second part of the Program (Spring term) is dedicated to a series of quite varied courses on subjects from different corners of the very large area of international tax law. The first course of the Spring term is Transfer Pricing, followed by EU Tax Law. The majority of the courses offered during the remainder of this term are dedicated to the integration and application of the theoretical knowledge acquired in the Tax Treaties and EU Tax Law courses: International Estate and Trust Taxation, VAT and, foremost, Corporate International tax planning. As an alternative for the VAT course, students may choose a course on US individual and corporate taxation, Advanced Transfer Pricing or Advanced EU Tax Law. Finally, for all students there is a course on US International Tax Law.

Upon successful completion of the ten months of courses, the student will prepare during July and August an LLM (Adv.) paper on a topic agreed upon with the Program Board. The LLM (Adv.) paper must address and analyse a substantive issue of international tax law, and may not be merely descriptive or comparative. The LLM (Adv.) paper ought to be of publishable quality.

Students who have successfully completed the examinations and whose LLM (Adv.) paper has been approved will be awarded the diploma of Master of Advanced Studies in International Tax Law during a graduation ceremony which is held at the end of August.

The courses in the Program are taught by teachers of Leiden University’s Faculty of Law (including Professor van Raad), visiting professors from the Netherlands and abroad and distinguished legal practitioners. An intensive interaction between students and teacher is fostered, typically resulting in greater involvement on the side of the students and, consequently, better results. For those students for whom the Program proves to be very demanding, tutorials may be offered. In addition, for students who comfortably deal with the heavy study burden, non-compulsory seminars are given in which the students are expected to actively participate.

Students may also register for individual courses. For further information please contact the Program Coordinator by email or use the feedback form.

For the Rules and Regulations of the Masters of Laws Advanced Legal Studies Programmes for the current Academic Year click here.

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last update: 17 September 2019

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