The report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of the following treaty actions:
Framework Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d’Armement (OCCAR)) for the Participation of Australia in OCCAR-Managed Programmes (Perth and Bonn, 5 February 2021); and
Minamata Convention on Mercury (Kumamoto, 10 October 2013).
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 the 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 Australia 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 of financial implications, and reports the results on consultations undertaken with State and Territory Governments, Federal, 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 on the treaty action where adoption of the treaty will involve a change in the regulatory environment for Australian business.
The Committee takes account of these documents in its examination of the treaty text, in addition to other evidence taken during the inquiry program.
Only one of the treaties considered in this report, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, required a RIS.
Copies of the treaties considered in this report and the associated documentation may be accessed through the Committee’s website at:
This report also contains the Committee’s reviews on three minor treaty actions:
Amendment to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006;
Amendment to Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora as contained in Notification 2020/068;
Amendment to Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora as contained in Notification 2021/026.
Conduct of the Committee’s review
The major treaty actions reviewed in this report were advertised on the Committee website from the date of referral. Submissions for the treaty actions were requested by 19 July 2021. One submission was received relating to the OCCAR Managed Programmes Participation Agreement. The Committee received 20 submissions relating to the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The Committee held a public hearing in Canberra and by videoconference on Monday, 9 August 2021 into the OCCAR Managed Programmes Participation Agreement and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The transcript of evidence from the public hearing may be obtained from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website as listed above.
A list of submissions received is at Appendix A and a list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing is at Appendix B.