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Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence

Question for Home Office

UIN 21174, tabled on 20 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the Government's progress towards ratification of Article 44 of the Istanbul Convention in respect of serving members of the UK’s armed forces serving overseas in foreign sovereign states.

Answered on

28 June 2022

On 17 May 2022 the Home Secretary made a Written Ministerial Statement which confirmed that the UK is ready to proceed to ratification of the Istanbul Convention, and on the same day the Foreign Secretary laid the Convention as a Command Paper, alongside an Explanatory Memorandum, before Parliament. Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence [MS No.3/2022] - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Under the provisions of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, unless either House has by 29 June 2022 made a resolution that the Convention should not be ratified, we will proceed to ratify the Convention, and we aim to do so by the end of July 2022. The ratification will apply to all parts of the Convention, with the exception of two reservations which we are making, one of them on aspects of Article 44, concerning our ability to prosecute UK nationals and residents for crimes committed overseas when the act done was not an offence in the country where it was committed.

More detail on that reservation can be found in paragraphs 9.2-9.9 of the Explanatory Memorandum. The UK’s compliance with Article 44 (subject to the reservation) is enabled by domestic legislation, principally in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which applies to members of the UK’s armed forces as well as to other UK nationals and residents.

Answered by

Home Office