The Human Rights Impact of Tax and Fiscal Policy

Tax and Human Rights Conference:
The Human Rights Impact of Tax
and Fiscal Policy
Thursday, 12 February 2015 – Dublin
Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
(Keynote speaker)
Philip Alston is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York
University. He is currently UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and
human rights. In 2014 he was a member of the UN Security Council's
Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic.
He previously served as Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions (200410) and as Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (1991-98). During the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child he was UNICEF's Legal Adviser.
Simon Harris, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Speaker)
John Mark McCafferty, Head of Social Justice, St Vincent de Paul (Speaker)
Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy and Policy, Christian Aid Ireland (Speaker)
As Head of Advocacy and Policy Sorley has led on Christian Aid’s tax work
since 2009. During this time tax as a development issue has moved from a
marginal niche issue to being recognised as mainstream consideration for Irish
government officials developing Irish tax policy. Sorley also sits on the EC
Platform for Tax Good Governance. Previously Sorley work for the UNDP in
Mozambique and Ethiopia where his area of expertise was anti-corruption
programmes and public sector reform.
Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law, NUI Galway (Moderator)
Professor Donncha O'Connell is Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway.
He serves on two statutory bodies - as a part-time Commissioner of the Law
Reform Commission and a member of the Legal Aid Board. He has also
served on the boards of a number of human rights organisations including:
INTERIGHTS, Amnesty International - Ireland and the Free Legal Advice
Centres (FLAC) Ltd. He was, from 1999 to 2002, the first full-time Director of
the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL).
Joe Stead, Senior Economic Adviser, Christian Aid (GB) (Moderator)
Joseph Stead is Christian Aid's Senior Economic Justice Adviser, primarily
focusing on the relationship between tax and development and the related EU
and UK policy. He leads Christian Aid’s policy on Automatic Information
Exchange, Beneficial Ownership and Country by Country Reporting. He
comes from the UK civil service where he worked for both the Foreign and
Home Office and among other things he worked on African economics, trade
and development policy and asylum and immigration law. He has an MSc in
African Politics from SOAS and is also co-chair of the board for the Jubilee
Debt Campaign.
Lorna Gold, Head of Advocacy and Policy, Trócaire (Moderator)
Aine Lawlor, Journalist, RTE (Moderator)
Sheila Killian, Assistant Dean, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick
Sheila Killian is the Assistant Dean, Research and the Director of the
Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) at the Kemmy
Business School at University of Limerick. Prior to joining KBS, Sheila worked
as a tax advisor with Ernst & Young, KPMG and Arthur Andersen & Co. Sheila
has a primary degree in Mathematics, a Master’s degree in Business Studies
and a PhD in Taxation. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant (national prize
winner in the final admitting exams) and as an Associate of the Institute of
Taxation in Ireland, and has published widely in international academic and
practitioner journals.
Ricardo Barrientos, Senior Economist, Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies and former
Deputy Finance Minister, Guatemala
José Ricardo Barrientos Quezada is a senior economist at the Central
American Institute of Fiscal Studies (Icefi), He is an expert in fiscal policy topics
who previously served as Vice-Minister of Public Finance of Guatemala (20092010) and Director and Technical Advisor at the Fiscal Analysis Unit at the
Ministry of Public Finance of Guatemala (1994-2005).
As independent consultant, he has done research work on fiscal policy and
evaluation on public policies and published works on tax policy and tax evasion
analysis in Guatemala. Mr. Barrientos also served as independent consultant for
the last Fiscal Pact Commission in Guatemala, in charge of the indirect taxation
study and proposal (2007).
He has doctoral studies in Mathematics from the University of Barcelona, Spain
(2005-2006); holds the International Tax Certificate from Harvard University,
USA (2000) and is a mathematician graduated from Universidad del Valle de
Guatemala (1995).
Cora O’Brien, Tax Policy Director, Irish Tax Institute
Cora O’Brien is Tax Policy Director with the Irish Tax Institute. She has lead
the Institute’s work on a range of domestic and international tax policy and
administration issues, including the introduction of Ireland’s International Tax
Strategy, the OECD BEPS Action Plan, the EU’s VAT and 2015 project, the
Digital Economy, the design of the Irish income tax regime, the development
and implementation of the Local Property Tax, reform of taxation for charitable
donations etc.
Cora represents the Institute on Main TALC (Tax Administration Liaison
Committee) and the Money Laundering Steering Committee and is a Chartered
Tax Adviser and a Chartered Accountant. She is the Institute’s Fiscal and
Professional Affairs representative at the Confederation Fiscale Europeenne
(the representative organisation for the tax profession in Europe).
Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Tax Justice Asia, Philippines
Lidy Nacpil has been involved in economic justice issues for more than 2
decades. Her work on public finance and fiscal policy includes tax justice
campaigning in the Philippines as early as the 1990's and more recently coorganizing the Asian Fiscal and Tax Justice Alliance in 2014. She is a member
of the Coordinating Committee of the Global Alliance on Tax Justice (GATJ).
She is also actively involved in global campaigns on the issues of illegitimate
debt and on climate change.
Niko Lusiani, Director, Human Rights in Economic Policy, Centre for Economic and Social Rights
Nicholas Lusiani is Director of the Human Rights in Economic Policy Program
at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR). His work focuses on
developing alternative human rights-centred economic and development
policies. Niko received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the School
of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he specialized
in international human rights law and macroeconomics.
His most recent publications include “Only the Little People Pay Taxes: Tax
Evasion and Switzerland’s Extraterritorial Obligations to Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights in Zambia,” Economic and Social Rights in the ‘Great
Recession’: Towards a Human Rights-Centred Economic Policy in Times of
Crisis” and "A Post-2015 Fiscal Revolution”, co-published by Christian Aid and
Ben Dickinson, Head of the Tax and Development Unit, OECD
Deirdre Donaghy, Fiscal Policy Division, Department of Finance
Michael Gaffey, Director General, Irish Aid, Department. of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Michael Gaffey is Director General of Irish Aid, Development Cooperation
Division. He has worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland, since
1979. He has worked in Irish Embassies overseas including Baghdad, Tokyo,
Chicago, London and Cairo (including Palestinian Territory, Syria, Lebanon,
Jordan and Sudan).
John Christensen, Director, Tax Justice Network
John Christensen directs the Tax Justice Network, an expert-led network
which leads global efforts to tackle tax havens. Trained as a forensic
investigator and economist, he has worked in many countries around the
world, including a period working in offshore financial services with Touche
Ross & Co. For 11 years he was Economic Adviser to the government of the
British Channel Island of Jersey. In 2003 he became what the Guardian has
described as “the unlikely figurehead of a worldwide campaign against tax
avoidance.” His research on small islands and offshore finance has been
widely published in books and academic journals, and John has taken part in
many films, television documentaries and radio programmes.
John Christensen holds an honours degree in applied economics and an
M.Phil. in economics and law. He has also done post-graduate studies at
Templeton College, Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political
Sciences. His work has been sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable
Trust and the Ford Foundation, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Shane D’arcy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway
Dr Shane Darcy is a lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the
National University of Ireland Galway, where he teaches international criminal
law and business and human rights. He is on the Editorial Board of the
Business and Human Rights Journal and the Editorial Committee of Criminal
Law Forum. He is a member of the National Board of Amnesty International’s
Irish Section and runs the Business and Human Rights in Ireland blog.
Fergal O’Brien, Chief Economist, IBEC