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UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the UK plans to (a) sign and (b) ratify the UN convention on enforced disappearances; and if he will make a statement. (263171)

The Government are currently examining the potential impact of the UN Convention against enforced disappearance on the law of the UK. In particular, lawyers are analysing the extent to which common law provisions may need to be replicated in statute law, and the introduction of one or more specific criminal offences.

If the Government decide to ratify the convention, these changes to the law would require primary legislation, which would be introduced when parliamentary time allowed. Decisions would also need to be taken in due course on whether the UK required any reservations or declarations upon ratification. These are complex issues requiring further consideration and analysis which will take some time to complete.