20th anniversary seminar

Treaties 20th Anniversary logo

In our best interest: treaty scrutiny in a connected world

The Treaties Committee conducted a one day seminar on Friday, 18 March 2016 to mark 20 years of operation.

This seminar, In our best interest: treaty scrutiny in a connected world, examined the effectiveness of the 1996 reforms to the treaty making process in Australia from a variety of viewpoints: academic, government, political and social.

Participants on the day included:

Videos of the sessions are available below.

Session 1


Session 2


Session 3


Session 4


About the work of the Treaties committee

For twenty years the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has been examining treaties on behalf of the Parliament, and making recommendations on how – or if – Australia should take binding treaty action. The Committee has inquired into 742 treaty actions and made 157 reports to Parliament.

In that time, treaties have become increasingly complex. Australians are more connected to the broader world through trade, education and migration. International agreements increasingly affect not only broad issues of state but the actions and responsibilities of individual citizens.

Worldwide, treaty scrutiny is reflecting this change by moving towards greater transparency and consultation.