Parliament panel moots new body to formulate international treaties, agreements

Times of India, October 12, 2015

A parliamentary panel has favoured creation of a new wing — Department of International Law — to ensure that matters related to international treaties and agreements are formulated and implemented in a better way. These include multiple treaties on black money and other international agreements.

The 31-member parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice, headed by Congress MP E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, has made the recommendation.

“As plenty of bilateral and multiple treaties on black money and other matters including investments are coming up, there should be a proper system for participation, formulation and implementation of such international agreements,” Natchiappan told PTI.

“The system will create a better positioning of India in the international fora,” he said.

The committee has also favoured creation of department of international law under the ministry of law and justice. It also suggested renaming the ministry as ministry of international law, domestic law and justice, he said.

The panel also heard submissions by officials of external affairs, commerce, finance and home ministries, Natchiappan said, adding that representatives of ministries of civil aviation, social justice, labour, and environment and forests will also be called to give their views soon.

At present, legal and treaties division under the ministry of external affairs is entrusted with the task of negotiating all political treaties, agreements and conventions with foreign countries.

“This will help a more coordinated, holistic and specialized approach while negotiating any international treaty or agreement,” he said.

Natchiappan noted that the functional ministries and departments must be at the forefront of the negotiation process along with the ministry of law and justice, which is the competent agency to advise on the position of domestic law vis-a-vis the provisions of the treaty.

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