On 23 August 2011, the Agreement for the Establishment of the
International Anti-Corruption Academy as an International Organization
(done at Vienna on 2 September 2010), was tabled in the Commonwealth
The proposed Agreement is to establish the International Anti-Corruption
Academy (the Academy) as a non-profit and self-sustaining organisation, based
in Laxenburg, Austria. The Academy is a joint initiative of the United Nations
(UN) Office on Drugs and Crime, the Republic of Austria and the European
The Academy is intended to promote effective and efficient efforts to
prevent and combat corruption by providing anti‑corruption education,
professional training and technical assistance. The Academy will also undertake
academic research into corruption and foster international cooperation and
networking opportunities in the fight against corruption.
Australia’s interest in the Agreement
Australia plays a significant role in global and regional efforts to
combat corruption, including through its work as a Party to the United
Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the OECD Convention on
Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business
Transactions and as a member of both the G20 and APEC Anti-Corruption
Working Groups. 
Australia was actively involved in the development of the G20
Anti-Corruption Action Plan, which is directed at preventing and tackling
corruption through establishing legal and policy frameworks that promote a
clean business environment and assist developing countries in their efforts to
combat corruption. As a member of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group,
Australia actively contributes to the Group’s activities through implementation
of the Action Plan.
As a member of the APEC Anti-Corruption Working Group, Australia has in
recent years led a project to develop and implement a Code of Conduct for
Business. The Code has been implemented in a number of countries (for example,
Vietnam and Chile) and continues to attract interest ,
and ratifying the Agreement would be a further opportunity for Australia to
demonstrate our support for international efforts to combat corruption.
Support for the Academy would reinforce Australia’s commitment to
international efforts against corruption. 
As a Party to the Agreement, Australia would be able to participate in mechanisms
to guide and support the Academy’s work as an important international
organisation, including exercising a voting right at the meetings of the
Assembly of Parties, and thus contributing to the Academy’s overall policy
direction and institutional arrangements.
Australian anti-corruption practitioners and field specialists would
also be able to take advantage of the training and educational services the
Academy offers, thereby increasing expertise and links at the working level
with international counterparts.
Article I of the Agreement establishes the Academy as an
international organisation, with full international legal personality, and
provides that the Academy shall operate in accordance with the Agreement.
Article II prescribes the Academy’s purpose which is to promote
effective and efficient prevention and combating of corruption by:
n providing education
and professional training;
n undertaking and
n providing other
relevant technical assistance; and
international cooperation. 
Article III identifies the seat of the Academy in Laxenburg,
Austria, although the Academy may establish facilities in other locations as
Article IV defines the Academy’s organisational structure
an Assembly of Parties (comprising a representative from each
Party to the Agreement);
n a Board of Governors;
an International Senior Advisory Board;
n an International
Academic Advisory Board; and
n a Dean.
Articles V-IX prescribes the role, appointment procedures and
operating procedures of each organ.
Article X stipulates that the Academy is to recruit and retain
academic and administrative staff with the highest possible qualifications, and
make appropriate arrangements for part-time or visiting academic staff. The
Academy is to encourage States, international organisations, universities and
other institutions to consider supporting the Academy’s staffing, including by
secondment of staff.
Article XI stipulates that the long-term goal is for the Academy
to be self‑sustainable and that the Academy will be financed through
means such as voluntary
contributions from Parties or from the private sector, tuition and other fees
and other service revenue.
Article XII stipulates that Parties are to keep each other
informed of and consult on matters of interest concerning their cooperation
under the Agreement, in accordance with each Party’s applicable rules
concerning disclosure of information and subject to any arrangements concluded
for that purpose.
Article XIII stipulates that the Academy may establish
cooperative relationships with States, international organisations and public
or private entities where they can contribute to the Academy’s work.
Article XIV stipulates that the Academy, the members of each of
its organs, the staff and experts are to enjoy such privileges and immunities
as agreed between the Academy and the Republic of Austria. The Academy may
conclude agreements with other States to secure appropriate privileges and
Article XIX Any disputes or questions affecting the Academy are
to be settled by negotiation or another agreed mode of settlement, or failing
that, referred to a tribunal of three arbitrators for final decision.
The Academy’s foundation and operation are not dependent on a majority
or unanimous ratification of the treaty. The Departments of Foreign Affairs
and Trade and Attorney-General’s explained that sufficient signatures and
support had already been garnered:
Currently, 53 member states are signatories. There are 10
ratifications [and] seven other countries... are close to ratification. [T]he
agreement is very new and most countries have some kind of domestic process
before they can ratify such an agreement. I think that in itself explains the
disparity between the number of signatories and the number of ratifications. 
[T]he actual agreement entered into force generally on 8
March this year but... we are not aware of a minimum number of ratifications
that are necessary for this to move forward. It has already been established
as an organisation because it reached the sufficient number of signatories.
That occurred on 8 March earlier this year.
No changes to Australian legislation are required to give effect to the
The Agreement does not impose any direct financial obligations on the
Parties to the Agreement. Article XV of the Agreement provides that Parties to
the Agreement shall not be responsible, individually or collectively, for any
debts, liabilities or other obligations of the Academy. Australia may consider
making financial or in-kind contributions to the Academy. According to the
National Interest Analysis (NIA) any decision as to whether Australia will make
a voluntary contribution to the Academy would be a matter for the Government to
consider as part of the usual budget process. Australia has made no
financial contribution to the institution’s establishment at this time.
The Committee supports international efforts to help end or curtail
corruption and support for the Academy would reinforce Australia’s commitment
to that goal.
The Committee notes that Australia plays a significant international
role in combating corruption, and that, domestically, the Australian public has
a commendably low tolerance for corruption in Australian institutions.
Clearly, an international anti-corruption academy would be in concord
with Australia’s international stance on corruption, and Australia’s domestic
distaste for corruption. Given this, the Committee agrees that binding treaty
action be taken.
||The Committee supports Agreement for the Establishment of
the International Anti-Corruption Academy as an International Organization (done
at Vienna on 2 September 2010), and recommends that binding treaty action be