John Prebble

Prof John Prebble profile picture

Professor School of Law


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Jurisprudential perspectives of taxation law, Income tax law, International taxation, Tax avoidance.


BA LLB(Hons) Auck, BCL Oxon, JSD Cornell, Inner Temple, LEANZF, QC

Academic Administrator

Sarah Walker Ph 04 463 6411

Publications and teaching

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Scholarly Papers by Subject papers

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Professor Prebble's main teaching and research interests are in income tax law, with specializations in basic principles of receipts, expenditure, and timing, international taxation, and anti-avoidance rules. He has developed the sub-discipline,'Jurisprudential Perspectives of Taxation Law', which examines judicial reasoning in taxation cases from the perspective of legal philosophers. Professor Prebble has advised several governments on matters of tax reform and was a member of the New Zealand government's consultative committees on corporate taxation and international taxation in the 1980s and of the Committee of Experts on Tax Compliance in 1998. He has subsidiary interests in private international law and the law of elections. He has received a number of awards, most recently the medal of the Australasian Tax Teachers' Association, 2006. Full Vitae

Areas of supervision 

  • Conflict of Laws
  • Elections
  • Tax


  • Fellow, Society for Advanced Legal Studies, London
  • Advisory Board, International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, Amsterdam
  • Advisory Board, Journal of Australian Taxation
  • Editorial Board, New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy
  • Editorial Board, eJournal of Tax Research
  • Senior Fellow, Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute, Monash University
  • Wellington District Law Society
  • International Fiscal Association
  • International Tax Planning Association
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Tax Research Network
  • Australasian Tax Teachers Association

Selection of publications

Choice of Law to Determine the Validity and Effect of Contracts: a Comparison of English and American Approaches to the Conflict of Laws (1972) University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan i-x, 1-435, also published in (1973) 58 Cornell L. Rev. Part I 433-536, Part II 635-732.

The Taxation of Property Transactions, Butterworths, 1986, (winner of the JF Northey Prize).

'Why Is Tax Law Incomprehensible?' in S James (ed) Taxation, Vol II, Critical Perspectives on the World Economy Routledge, London 2002 221 237. Reprint of 'Why Is Tax Law Incomprehensible?' (1993) Victoria University of Wellington Inaugural Addresses, 2d Series 1-21. Also published in (1994) British Tax Review 380-393.

'Income Taxation, a Structure Built on Sand'(2002) 24 Sydney Law Review 301 (Inaugural Parsons Memorial Lecture, University of Sydney, 2001).

Taxation of Offshore Income, Fiscal Publications, Birmingham, 2006.


Teaching in 2019