Law Council of Australia


Foreign Relations State and Territory Arrangements Bill 2020

The submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in relation to the Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020 and the Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020 (the Bills) was prepared by the Law Council of Australia. 

The Bills seek to create a legislative scheme that would enable the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Minister) to assess whether arrangements between state and territory governments and foreign governments, and entities related to them, would adversely affect Australia's foreign relations or would be inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy.

The Law Council appreciates that there are increasing complexities in Australia’s relationship with a number of international partners and recognises the desire for the Australian Government to maintain consistency in its foreign relations and increase oversight of key arrangements.

Noting this context, the Law Council raises a number of aspects of the proposed scheme for the Committee’s consideration, including:

Should to the proposed scheme proceed, the Law Council makes the following recommendations:

You can read the full submission below.


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