EW Barker Centre for Law & Business

Research Staff

Dr Sally-Ann Joseph  

Dr Sally-Ann Joseph
Post-Doctoral Fellow
2 June 2015 - 1 June 2016

After a career in senior corporate tax advisory roles spanning over 25 years in both South Africa and Australia, Sally embarked on a research career. With degrees in taxation, commerce and law (at both bachelor and master levels), Sally also has international certifications in taxation, corporate governance and process improvement, is a CPA and admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. She received the University of New South Wales/Commissioner of Taxation Medal for academic excellence for Bachelor of Taxation and, during her PhD, the Deans Award for Service. Sally's PhD was in taxation policy with an emphasis on economic and environmental sustainability. A regular presenter at tax conferences globally, Sally has gained a high profile with a significant number of resulting publications. Her research interests are centred broadly on ensuring the sustainability (financial, economic, social and environmental) of taxation systems. While at the Centre for Law and Business Sally is focusing on the international doctrine of sovereign immunity as it applies to the taxation of sovereign wealth funds.

Research areas

Is the doctrine of sovereign immunity still valid in a commercialised and globalised world: proposals for the sustainability of sovereign wealth funds

This research project contemplates a comprehensive assessment of the international doctrine of sovereign immunity with respect to how it applies to sovereign wealth funds (SWF), with an emphasis on taxation. There is no uniform approach by countries to their tax treatment of SWFs and no international consensus on the limits of sovereign immunity. Without in-depth insights into the economic, financial and particularly taxation implications on the doctrine of sovereign immunity, inappropriate or ill-informed policy decisions will continue to impact SWFs, even possibly hindering or impeding global security and stability. This research remedies this gap in the literature and also proposes practical alternatives.

Specific questions address the various interdependent aspects of this research project:

1. Do tax treaties embody the application of sovereign immunity? This section researches how SWFs are currently taxed and how they should be taxed.
2. 2. Has the function of government evolved? This section researches the scope of the doctrine of sovereign immunity and the treatment of similar government or investment vehicles.
3. Are SWFs sustainable? Focusing on financial and economic sustainability, the effects of trade, capital mobility, global economic outlooks and addressing climate change on SWFs are researched.
4. How does all this fit into the bigger picture of cross-border tax issues? This question is researched in light of contemporary issues including, but not limited to, tax information sharing and base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). Any relevant issues arsing from this research and not dealt with elsewhere will be included in this section.