Chapter 1 Introduction
Purpose of the report
This report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of
treaty actions tabled on 7 and 28 February 2012.
These treaty actions are proposed for ratification and are examined in
the order of tabling:
n Tabled 7 February
Resolution MEPC.193(61): (Revised MARPOL Annex III:
Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by
Sea in Packaged Form) Adopted at London on 1 October 2010; and
Amendments to Appendices I and II to the Convention on the
Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
(Bonn, 23 June 1979) done at Bergen on 25 November 2011.
n Tabled 28 February
Agreement between Australia and the European Union Amending
the Agreement on Mutual Recognition in relation to Conformity Assessment (MRA),
Certificates and Markings between the European Community and Australia done at
Brussels on 23 February 2012;
Convention providing a Uniform Law on the
Form of an International Will done at Washington D.C. on 26 October 1973;
Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York on 18
December 2002; and
Amendments to the Agreement Establishing the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development, adopted at London on
30 September 2011.
n Minor Treaty
Amendment, adopted at Lima on 27 April 2012, to Annex 1 of the
Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) of 19 June 2001
that enters into force automatically on 26 July 2012.
The Committee’s resolution of appointment empowers it to inquire into
any treaty to which Australia has become signatory, on the treaty being tabled
The treaties, and matters arising from them, are evaluated to ensure
that ratification is in the national interest, and that unintended or negative
effects on Australians will not arise.
Prior to tabling, major treaty actions are subject to a National
Interest Analysis (NIA), prepared by Government. This document considers
arguments for and against the treaty, outlines the treaty obligations and any
regulatory or financial implications, and reports the results of consultations
undertaken with State and Territory Governments, Federal and State and Territory
agencies, and with industry or non-government organisations.
A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) may accompany the NIA. The RIS
provides an account of the regulatory impact of the treaty action where
adoption of the treaty will involve a change in the regulatory environment for
Australian business. The treaties examined in this report do not require an
The Committee takes account of these documents in its examination of the
treaty text, in addition to other evidence taken during the inquiry program.
Copies of each treaty and its associated documentation may be obtained
from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website at:
Conduct of the Committee’s review
The treaty actions reviewed in this report were advertised on the
Committee’s website from the date of tabling. Submissions for the treaties were
requested by Friday, 9 March 2012 for those treaties tabled 7 February
2012 and Friday, 30 March 2012 for those treaties tabled on 28 February with
extensions available on request.
Invitations were made to all State Premiers, Chief Ministers and to the Presiding
Officers of each Parliament to lodge submissions. The Committee also invited
submissions from individuals and organisations with an interest in the
particular treaty under review.
Submissions received and their authors are listed at Appendix A.
The Committee examined the witnesses on each treaty at public hearings
held in Canberra on 7 May and 1 June 2012.
Transcripts of evidence from the public hearings may be obtained from
the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website under the
treaty’s tabling date, being:
n 7 February 2012
n 28 February 2012
A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearings is at Appendix B.