Australia - United States Free Trade

Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement - Guide to the Agreement

20. Transparency

1.    Purpose and Structure

The Chapter on transparency consists of six Articles.   It is intended to promote greater transparency in the making and implementation of laws, regulations and bureaucratic decisions.   It also protects the principles of natural justice and due process.

2.    Publication (Article 20.2)

This Article requires that all laws and regulations should be made publicly available.   Where possible, governments in Australia and the United States should publish draft laws and regulations in advance to allow interested people from either country to comment on them.

This obligation is consistent with the recently passed Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

3.    Notification and Provision of Information (Article 20.3)

This Article provides a mechanism for the Governments of Australia and the United States to consult about the effect a particular draft law or regulation might have on their respective citizens' or companies' interests.

4.    Administrative Agency Processes (Article 20.4)

This Article provides individuals or companies of either country certain rights to natural justice and due process when they are subject to administrative and bureaucratic decision-making processes.

Australia is already in compliance with this Article and no additional action is required by the Australian Government.

5.    Review and Appeal (Article 20.5)

In addition to the commitments on natural justice and due process in initial decision-making processes provided in Article 20.4, this Article requires Australia and the United States to provide for appeals against administrative or bureaucratic decisions.  

Australia is already in compliance with this Article and no additional action is required by the Australian Government.

March 6, 2004

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