*R (on the application of St Matthews (West) Ltd and others) v HM Treasury and another

Tax – Avoidance. The appellants were affected by retrospectively effective legislative changes to s 45 of the Finance Act 2003 relating to stamp duty land tax. They contended that those changes infringed art 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (A1P1) and art 6 of the Convention. They were refused permission to bring judicial review proceedings against the respondents. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appellants' appeal, held that A1P1 had not been engaged by the imposition of the legislative changes and, if it had been, the changes had been lawful and proportionate. Article 6 was also not engaged, since tax proceedings did not relate to the determination of a 'civil' right or obligation.

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