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Treaties, Conventions And Directives (Ratification)

Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a list, with dates, of international treaties, conventions and directives still awaiting ratification by the House.

In the sense in which the term "ratification" is normally used in international practice, treaties—and conventions—are ratified not by Parliament but by the Crown in the exercise of the Royal Prerogative on the advice of Ministers. The texts of all treaties subject to ratification are laid before Parliament as Command Papers for 21 sitting days under the practice known as the Ponsonby rule in order to afford an opportunity for debate.Directives of the European Economic Community and the Euratom Community are not subject to "ratification".Considerable research would be necessary to extract from the records the information requested. If the hon. Member would indicate any particular subject or period to be covered, I shall see what can be done to provide the information.