Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate on the Report and to say that I urge Hon Colleagues not just to support the proposed Bill but also participate actively when it comes to the House.
Madam Speaker, even the law that we are seeking to repeal, that is the PNDC Law 1 l 1, at the same time that it was hailed by some as a far-reaching law, there were also very many who felt that a law to deal with intestate succession, which had always been decided according to customary law or according to the personal law of the person in our country was retroactive. There were people who Said that the law favoured matrimonial societies and there were others who said the law favoured patrilineal societies.
Madam Speaker, indeed, it is the sensitive nature of this subject that has kept it at committee level for what has been told to us, perhaps, is an unconstitutional
length of time. The Committee has done extensive work and has received evidence and memoranda before a wide range of people. Madam Speaker, the Standing Orders, Order 202 describes everybody who is not a member of the committee who appears before it as a witness. And Order 202 (1) says that the evidence of every witness shall be taken down and a copy of it sent to him, and it goes on and on about that fact.
So Madam Speaker, at the end of a committee's sitting, it has all the evidence that it took from various people and it then synchronizes them and presents a report to the House of a few pages. Madam Speaker, my concern has always been that perhaps, what is given to the House is inadequate.
You would recall that there was a time that with your permission, Parliament was recalled and a matter relating to the District Assembly Elections was discussed by a special committee that was established by you.
In doing the report, some of us argued that all the evidence before the committee should be brought to the House. There were others who argued strenuously that it is the practice of this House to, as it were, summarize or give an executive summary of the Reports.
Madam Speaker, the point you raised this morning is very, very correct and true, because indeed, if people give different views, it would have assisted every Hon Member of this House who was not at that meeting to see the different views that people had expressed and see which ones we agreed with or did not agree With.
Madam Speaker, perhaps, it brings into sharp focus the way committees report to the House. Perhaps, instead of this