Melbourne Forum 2021: Session 2



Webinar 2: "Constitutional frameworks for treaties"

The sixth Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific was comprised of four sessions, held as two connected online webinars. The second session was held on 2 November 2021 from 3-5pm (AEST).

Video of Roundtable 2 - Melbourne Forum 2021

This Roundtable explored the ways in which states enter into treaties and other forms of international arrangements, together with the related issue of the status of international law in domestic law. Questions considered in relation to each case (with appropriate contextual adaptations) included:

  • How are treaties entered into in your country? Where relevant, use the Paris Agreement on Climate Change as an example.
  • Is it relevant to distinguish treaties from other forms of international agreements for this purpose, or to distinguish between different types of treaties?
  • How are these procedures reflected in the Constitution?
  • Is there any debate in your country on the adequacy of the procedures entering into treaty commitments and other forms of international agreements from the standpoint of transparency and accountability? Is there any pressure for change?
  • What is the status of international law in domestic law in your country? Is it relevant to distinguish between different forms of international law for this purpose?
  • Does the Constitution specify the status of international law in domestic law?
  • Does the implementation of international law in domestic law create any theoretical or practical problems?
  • Is there any debate in your country about the ways in which international law is absorbed into domestic law?
  • Are there any other aspects of the experience of your country with the entry into international arrangements and their implementation and activation, which might throw light on the issues raised by this theme?

Papers were produced to frame the discussions, drawing on experiences from four countries: