1. Introduction

Purpose of the report

This report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of the following treaty actions:
Air Services Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the State of Kuwait (Antalya, 22 October 2015); and
Protocol to Amend and Supplement the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the State of Bahrain relating to Air Services (Bahrain, 8 June 2014)
In addition, the Report contains the Committee’s views on three Minor Treaty Actions:
Amendment to Annex II of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Convention against Doping in Sport;
Amendments to Annex I of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 Relating Thereto (MARPOL); and
Second Protocol establishing the Prolongation of the Treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Australia on the Presence of Australian Personnel in the Netherlands for the Purpose of Responding to the Downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The Committee’s resolution of appointment empowers it to inquire into any treaty to which Australia has become a signatory, on the treaty being tabled in Parliament.
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 did not require a RIS.
The Committee takes account of these documents in its examination of the treaty texts, in addition to other evidence taken during the inquiry program.
Copies of the treaties considered in this report and 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 Air Services Agreements were requested by 26 September 2016.
Invitations were made to all State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and Presiding Officers of each Parliament to lodge submissions. The Committee also invited submissions from individuals and organisations with an interest in the treaties reviewed.
The Committee held a public hearing into the treaties in Canberra on 10 October 2016 for the Air Service Agreements.
The transcripts of evidence from the public hearing may be obtained from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website.
A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing is at Appendix A.

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