• Research Briefing

    Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties: up to 2010

    Before 2010 the UK Parliament had no formal role in the ratification of treaties, which is a matter for the Government under the Royal Prerogative. There were however several ways in which treaties were scrutinised by Parliament before the Government ratified them, for example under the 'Ponsonby Rule'. There have been calls for Parliamentary scrutiny of treaties to be enhanced, including through creating a dedicated treaty scrutiny committee.

  • Research Briefing

    EU bibliographies: Food Supplements Directive

    The EC Food Supplements Directive (2002/46/EC of 10 June 2002) was implemented in England by Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 SI 2003/1387, with effect from 1 August 2005. Equivalent Regulations implemented the Directive in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Draft legislation to amend this Directive is being prepared by the European Commission and is expected in 2009. This Note brings together documents relevant to UK legislation on the application of the EU Food Supplements Directive.

  • Research Briefing

    Amending the EU Treaty: the European Stability Mechanism

    On 17 December 2010 the European Council agreed to establish a permanent financial crisis mechanism called the "European Stability Mechanism" (ESM) by means of an amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This Note looks at the likely ratification path in the UK of the proposed amendment to Article 136 TFEU, as set out in the draft European Council decision of 17 December 2010.

  • Research Briefing

    European Union Bill (HC Bill 106 2010-11)

    This Bill strengthens the provisions of the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 with explicit procedures for agreeing to or ratifying certain EU decisions or treaty changes, including provisions for referendums on changes that would transfer powers from the UK to the EU.

  • Research Briefing

    Georgia after the 2008 war

    President Saakashvili's second term expires in 2013. Whether the election is won by a more Moscow-friendly successor will be critical for the progress of Russia's efforts to establish its ""zone of privileged interest". Critics of the US administration may say that Obama's decision to "press the reset button" on relations with Russia has betrayed Georgia's ambitions to join western countries.

  • Research Briefing

    Property disputes in north Cyprus

    Property ownership is a major issue in the divided island of Cyprus, not just for Cypriots but for British and other people. Many thousands of people were displaced after the Turkish intervention in 1974, abandoning their property, and in the north much of this has been transferred to other people without the original owner's consent. The resulting disputes have not only thwarted progress in reunification talks but also resulted in a large number of court cases.

  • Research Briefing

    In brief: a closed window in Cyprus?

    The nationalist Dervis Eroglu won the April 2010 presidential elections in the 'Turkish Republic of North Cyprus' with just over 50% of the vote. Most commentators had argued that a win by Eroglu would close a window of opportunity for reunification, but peace talks have in fact resumed. Are these talks likely to bring progress, or is Eroglu really still in favour of a two-state solution?

  • Research Briefing

    EU Legislation

    This Note considers the different types of EU legislative instruments and their implementation requirements. It also gives figures for EU laws adopted since 1980 and repealed since 1997, as well as an estimate of the proportion of UK secondary legislation made under the ECA to implement EU obligations.