I come from a background of international law, so I used to deal with treaties an awful lot. A huge percentage of our domestic legislation is now either a direct implementation of international treaties or has some connection. You would know that better than I, I think.
I addressed this issue a bit in my second reading speech. Even for somebody like me, reading an implementing bill that already has the handicap of being in the form that our amending bills take—meaning it's quite fragmented, and you have to be constantly going back and forth—and then layering on that a background treaty that isn't actually appended.... There's no commentary whatsoever to enable the average legislator to make their way through to how the treaties connect to the legislation.
I spoke a fair bit about this, and in my view there's a bit of a transparency rule of law problem that we're coming up against. When other systems introduce legislation, it's much more common to have fairly detailed commentaries about bills. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm pretty sure that a lot of those systems would have quite clear commentary literally taking the legislator through where a piece of legislation, a provision, links up with the treaty, and would probably have some commentary about why a particular form of implementation was chosen. However, we really don't have that in the way we present bills implementing treaties.
You can't bind the government, so it's just a question along these lines: do you think the time might be ripe to try to come up with a system of presenting bills, implementing treaties, that's just a little bit more transparent and helpful than what we have now?