The title of this post says it all. Tax at Osgoode Hall Law School - a forum for tax "conversation" orchestrated by the tax community at Osgoode Hall Law School - is up and running.
I am Professor Scott Wilkie, a member of the Osgoode Hall Law School faculty and principal curator of this blog. I am assisted very ably by Corey LeBlanc, a keen Osgoode tax student who for all our benefit is adept at blog "technology". But we are not alone - this is an Osgoode initiative and other faculty members of Osgoode's robust and enthusiastic tax program will, we hope, be regular contributors. Among those we expect is Professor Jinyan Li, an Osgoode leader whose tax dedication knows no bounds. As, or perhaps more importantly, however, we actively encourage contributions from the entire Osgoode community, notably its members - student and faculty alike, even outside the tax discipline- who understand the fundamental influence and importance of fiscal and tax matters for identifying and enabling constructive responses to any social and economic policy goals, whether or not "exclusively" and "narrowly" tax-centric. The present experience of governments around the world and of supranational organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic is possibly the clearest, most immediate and most easily understandable indication of how important fiscal and tax policy is, and further, the legislative and administrative ways to activate it, with both humanitarian and structural economic and regulatory considerations front of mind.
The are a number of approaches to blogs.
Some are mostly bibliographic, referring to the existence of topical research and other information. This is useful. We will do some of that, but often - we hope - we will do more than simply link to the work of others. When we do, we hope to offer a few comments about the information which encourage continuing conversation about it and suggest ways in which that information connects to various fiscal and tax policy themes.
Others are the more or less exclusive dominion of their curators who publish short essays or commentaries about their own views. While the curator or curators of this blog will from time to time do that, too, it will be in the spirit not of having a forum only for that purpose but, as in the case of bibliographic information, encouraging a continuing conversation.
The watch word is "conversation" - a continuing engagement by all manner of students of taxation on subjects that interest them, to enjoy the exploration and generation of ideas that not only spark more conversation but lead to more considered research and even practical outcomes.
The word conversation is important for another reason.
This blog is not the preserve of experienced students of taxation - faculty members, practitioners of various kinds and others who are established in the field. It is for all students, including our own who are curious and no doubt think about fiscal and tax matters, often more expansively than others, who though more experienced are focused on their own research. Those "other" students, too, have ideas and things to say about them which are interesting, inspiring, provocative, and thoughtful - and often unconstrained by the kind of preconceptions that sometimes limit traditional research by making it more "inside" than "outside" the box, to use an over-used metaphor. Contributors should be constrained only by standards of good taste and respect for others' points of view. Otherwise, a lack of long or developed experience in the field is not a limitation. And, we hope by leading by example, the brevity and pithiness of contributions will make it clear without saying more that not only are all contributions welcome but they need only be a sentence or a few. Contributors should not be self-conscious about either the scope or length of their comments: it is a conversation, and conversations are not orchestrated or scripted, they simply happen as interested and interesting interlocutors share ideas and experience. This is our hope for this blog.
All contributions will be curated - not to change the views contributors offer in any substantive sense, but to maintain standards of good taste and respect. We will make some stylistic alterations occasionally, but not to change tone or content but just as a copy-editing matter to enhance the clarity and force of the views expressed.
This is enough said for our introduction. We hope to have more in the coming days as we develop a rhythm for the blog, become both more technically adept and assemble content that we think will be interesting.
Best wishes, and looking forward to our conversation,