AskDefine | Define ratify

Dictionary Definition

ratify v : approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation; "All parties ratified the peace treaty"; "Have you signed your contract yet?" [syn: sign] [also: ratified]

User Contributed Dictionary



From ratifico < from ratus "reckoned".



  1. To give formal consent to; make officially valid.


Related terms


give formal consent to

Extensive Definition

Ratification is the act of giving official sanction or approval to a formal document such as a treaty or constitution. It includes the process of adopting an international treaty by the legislature, a constitution, or another nationally binding document (such as an amendment to a constitution) by the agreement of multiple sub-national entities. The process of ratifying a constitution is most commonly observed in federations such as the United States, confederations or international organisations sui generis such as the European Union.
In unionized workplaces, during negotiations, a contract proposal by an employer, that may be acceptable to the collective bargaining committee, will be brought back for ratification, or a vote by the general membership, before the union can either accept or decline such a contract proposal. A ratified proposal means a "Yes" vote and will form the basis for the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) for that workplace.
Different organizations have different rules for how a constitutional change is ratified. Federations usually require the support of both the federal government and a certain percentage of the subsidiary entities. Some ratification processes also require a supermajority within legislatures.
The ratification of international treaties follows the same rules as the passing of laws in most democracies. Important exceptions are the United Kingdom, where treaty making is still a Royal Prerogative exercised by Her Majesty's Government, and the United States, where treaty ratification must be advised and consented to by a two-thirds majority in the U.S. Senate. The Senate does not actually ratify treaties. Once the Senate has given its advice and consent to ratification, the President ratifies the treaty by signing an instrument of ratification. While the United States House of Representatives does not vote on it at all, the requirement for Senate advice and consent to ratification makes it considerably more difficult in the US than in other democracies to rally enough political support for international treaties.
The application of the treaty or legislation is not possible until it has been ratified, so we think. Usually this must be done first by both parties (in July 2006 British bankers contested their extradition to the US in application of a treaty not yet ratified in America), or in a multilateral agreement it may be provided that a quorum (e.g. half) of the signatories must have ratified it.

Ratification of the United States Constitution

Main article: History of the United States Constitution.
Article Seven of the constitution of the United States describes the process by which the entire document was to become effective. It required that nine of the thirteen original States ratify the constitution through legislative approval. With eleven states having done so, the Congress of the Confederation passed a resolution on September 13 1787 to put the new Constitution into operation.

Ratification of the European Constitution

All government leaders of the European Union signed the treaty, however, subject to national ratification. The process for ratifying the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe — a proposed constitutional document for the European Union (EU) — varied from country to country; seven countries were intending to hold binding referendums to determine the outcome, sixteen would decide by parliamentary vote and two countries opted for parliamentary approval advised by an advisory referendum. To take full effect, the constitution should have been ratified by all the member states of the EU as well as the European Parliament. The constitution was ratified by the European Parliament and sixteen member states (based on the parliaments of fourteen member states, and referendums in two others, Spain and Luxembourg). However, referendums first in France (on 29 May, 2005) and then in the Netherlands (on 1 June, 2005) rejected the constitution. After some minor modifications, such as dropping the label 'constitution' and references to the flag, the text was adopted as the Treaty of Lisbon. Ratification is now in progress. The aim is to finish the ratification process by 2009.


The ratification of the current Constitution of Ireland was achieved by plebiscite in 1937.


See also

ratify in Danish: Ratifikation
ratify in German: Ratifikation
ratify in Estonian: Ratifitseerimine
ratify in French: Instrument de ratification
ratify in Croatian: Ratifikacija
ratify in Indonesian: Ratifikasi
ratify in Hungarian: Ratifikáció
ratify in Dutch: Ratificatie
ratify in Japanese: 批准
ratify in Norwegian: Ratifisering
ratify in Norwegian Nynorsk: Ratifisering
ratify in Polish: Ratyfikacja
ratify in Russian: Ратификация
ratify in Simple English: Ratification
ratify in Serbian: Ратификација
ratify in Finnish: Ratifiointi
ratify in Swedish: Ratifikation
ratify in Ukrainian: Ратифікація
ratify in Chinese: 批准

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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