Role of the Committee
The joint committee is one of ten joint committees administered by the House of Representatives, and is appointed by a resolution of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Further information on the establishment, role and powers of House of Representatives committees including joint committees on which Members of the House serve can be found in chapters 16 and 17 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.
In summary, the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade is to consider and report on such matters relating to foreign affairs, defence, trade, and human rights as may be referred to it by either House of the Parliament; the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Minister for Defence; or the Minister for Trade. The Committee may also inquire into matters raised in annual reports of relevant Commonwealth Government departments and authorities or in reports of the Commonwealth Auditor-General.
The Committee has had the following name changes in recent Parliaments:
1973-87 Foreign Affairs and Defence
1952-72 Foreign Affairs.
A brief history of the Committee is also available.