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Rattling the cage

11 October 2011 / James Kessler
Issue: 4325 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Admin
HMRC skeleton arguments are a valuable resource and should be available to the public. JAMES KESSLER QC explains why

KEY POINTS

  • Value of skeleton arguments.
  • Public access to arguments.
  • National security.

When any case is argued in court or in the tax tribunal each side produces its ‘skeleton argument’. The skeleton argument is a vital document and prepared with great care. The original idea as the name suggests was that a skeleton should be just a short outline ‘stated’ as the practice direction puts it ‘as concisely as the nature of the case allows’.

Skeleton arguments were not intended to become full written briefs. But the practice direction allows some flexibility and most advocates think it better to put a...

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