Australia's regional treaty activity in the Asia-Pacific: a sub-regional trends analysis
This paper investigates Australian treaty making with neighboring countries in the Asia-Pacific. Patterns of Australian treaty making with South East Asian countries are markedly different to those with South West Pacific countries and the difference is continuing to deepen. Treaties with the former are primarily bilateral and commercially oriented, whereas those with the latter are plurilateral and oriented to natural resources management and development. There is a major gap in Australian subregional treaty activity for natural resources management in South East Asian countries. A coalescence of issues in the law enforcement and security categories is occurring and the new direction in Australian regional treaty making for both subregions is to strengthen capacity to enforce the rule of law in national legal systems. Commercial treaty making remains and is likely to continue to be the strongest area of treaty activity.