§ Mr. Ray Powell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Her Majesty's Government intend to ratify the United Nations convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, which was signed on 15 March 1985.
§ Mr. Eggar
We intend to ratify the United Nations convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as soon as possible. We need first to introduce legislation, mainly due to the extensive provisions of the convention regarding jurisdiction; we also need to ensure that our law covers that part of the convention's definition of torture as including severe mental suffering. The legislation timetable this session is very full, but we intend to bring in the necessary legislation as soon as we can.