David G. Duff

Undergrad at Queen’s University. Masters in Economics at York University and in Political Theory at the University of Toronto. JD at the University of Toronto. LLM at Harvard.


I visited from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law for a year in 2008-09 and joined UBC full-time on July 1, 2009.


What courses will you be teaching at Allard in 2019-2020?

Law 407/506 Taxation Law 408/562 Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders Law 410/565 International Taxation Law 414/515 Taxation of Corporate Reorganizations


Tax law and tax policy, including particular interests in responses to domestic and international tax avoidance, in economic inequality and redistributive taxation, and in carbon taxation.


Fortunately, teaching tax law at a law faculty was and is my dream job. Otherwise, though, I suppose I might have wanted to be an architect.


Very hard to say, since I read mostly tax cases, which are generally not socially ground-breaking — though they can be very important for the integrity of the tax system and the fair distribution of taxes. From this perspective, I like a case called Copthorne Holdings Ltd., in which the Supreme Court of Canada applied the general-anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) in the federal Income Tax Act to disregard a number of transactions that were designed for no other purpose than to take money out of Canada without paying any tax. The Court cut through an incredibly complicated series of transactions to do justice in a field where justice can be difficult to determine and too-often overlooked.


Movies: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Big Lebowski, North by Northwest


Nitobe Memorial Garden – I don’t go there enough, but should in order to regain perspective.


Welcome to Allard! I hope that you enjoy learning about law and discovering what it can be and do at its best.