Treaty Ratification Process in Nepal
On 25 July 2006 House of Representatives has given a directive order to the Government to become a party of the Rome Statute of ICC. This has offered an opportunity to Nepal for formally being Member of the ICC through exhausting the process of ratification or accession as per the prescription of the domestic law. Similarly, Minister of Foreign Affair, Upendra Yadav filed a proposal to Council of Ministers for the ratification of Rome Statute on February 11, 2009. Today, the issue of Rome Statute accession has emerged as one of the imperative next to the political conflict and impunity situation in Nepal.
The domestic law relating to ratification or accession of a Treaty, Agreement, Convention or Protocol is "Treaty Act of Nepal 1990". The Treaty Act prescribes two steps to become a Party to any Treaty, both bilateral and multilateral. In the first step, under section 3 of the Treaty Act, a Treaty is concluded and signed, by which Nepal becomes signatory to the Treaty. A signatory is not a Party but it is an expression of willingness to become a Party or Member.
The second step is a step of ratification, accession, approval or acceptance. Under Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties 1969, these different words mean in each case the international act so named whereby a state establishes on the international plane its consent to be bound by a treaty. For this reason, ratification of Rome Statute requires to undergo through the processes laid down by section 4 of the Treaty Act. Section 4 of the treaty Act has prescribed followings:
- Treaties required to be ratified, accessed, approved or accepted, except prescribed by Article 156 of the Interim Constitution 2007 of Nepal , Nepal Government should present a proposal before the House of Representatives for ratification, accession, approval or acceptance,
- The majority of the House of Representatives, present, should approve the proposal therein,
- After approval from the House of Representatives, Government should deposit the instrument of ratification to the concerned authority, and
- Despite the non-requirement by international treaty for ratification, accession, approval or acceptance, the Nepal Government cannot be a Party of a treaty establishing an international organization or becoming a Member to an international organization unless the House of Representatives approve it.