O'Brien, Martha



Phone number: (250) 721-8165
Email: mcobrien@uvic.ca
Department: Faculty of Law

Research description:

- Canadian taxation law
- International taxation law
- International investment law
- Law of the European Union
- Constitutional law
Expertise Profile
Every rule has a reason. Taxes are no exception.

Martha O'Brien, professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, studies Canadian, international and European Union tax law.

One thing she finds fascinating about taxes are their influences, which range from the social to the political to the economic.

Every state must decide who should bear the burden of taxes, why and what should be subsidized. For instance, in Canada we have subsidized health care and education, but we draw the line at cosmetic surgery and post-secondary tuition.

Globalization is also changing tax systems and tax law. Keeping a handle on the current state of the law through her research allows O'Brien to inform her students of its changing nature.

In her research, O'Brien reviews an area of tax law and then thinks about how it can be improved and where it's weak -- for example, is it enforceable? Much of her time is spent comparing tax law in Canada and the EU, their policies and their functions.

O'Brien got her LL.M. in EU law in Belgium and she is one of only a few Canadian tax scholars who focuses her research on EU issues.

In 2013, Professor O'Brien had the privilege of teaching at the Sorbonne in Paris. She taught comparative federal tax systems in a 12-hour intensive professional master's program in business and tax law.

International research:

Professor O'Brien specializes in international tax law, and the law of the European Union, and the intersection of international tax and trade law.

Countries lived or worked in:

France, Belgium, and Austria.



UVic Speakers bureau

Martha O'Brien takes part in the UVic Speakers Bureau.
More information about the Speakers Bureau can be found here.

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