Psycho-linguistic analysis of tax judgments


  • Neil McLeod Murdoch University



Psycholinguistics, income taxation, judgements.


Each of us constructs an individual 'model of reality'. Language is one of the ways we describe our perceptions of reality to each other. In using language to describe reality, we are presented with a range of 'surface' linguistic forms. Some of these forms enable us to avoid dealing directly with aspects of reality we are aware of but feel uncomfortable about. Other forms appeal to us because they enable us to avoid confronting aspects of reality that we are not aware of, aspects of reality that our individual models do not take appropriate account of. This paper examines judgements in a range of Australian tax cases. It focuses on the linguistic forms that enable judges to avoid confronting inappropriate aspects of the judicial model of income tax jurisprudence.

Author Biography

Neil McLeod, Murdoch University

NEIL McLEOD is an Associate Professor in the School of Law at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia where he lectures in Evidence and Taxation Law. He has published widely in the area of expert evidence, including the book DNA Profiling: Principles, Pitfalls and Potential (with S. Easteal and K. Reed: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1991).



How to Cite

McLeod, N. (2013). Psycho-linguistic analysis of tax judgments. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 3(2), 232–249.