Tax exemption, moral reservation, and regulatory incentivisation
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Authors: Brownsword, R.
Journal: European Journal of Risk Regulation
This paper focuses on those parts of the regulatory environment that are designed to encourage scientific and technological innovation. Patent law is the obvious example; but tax law can also signal encouragement for particular activities. The key question is whether regulators will, or should, withhold tax incentives where there are some, but not universal, moral reservations about an innovation. In order to earth this question, three recent cases at the ECJ, two involving the controversial practice of cord-blood banking, are examined. Insofar as these cases offer any evidence of the prevailing regulatory approach, it seems to be similar to that found in patent law - that is, moral reservations do not count against the applicability of a tax exemption so long as they are not universally recognised.