Consideration in Committee
The consideration of a private bill that has been introduced in the National Assembly is done partly in parliamentary committee over the course of a single sitting. The committee
- hears the person who requested that the bill be adopted (the promoter) and other stakeholders
- gives the bill detailed consideration
The object of the bill (the subject it deals with) determines which committee will consider it.
Several private bills may be considered during one sitting. The proceedings are the same for each:
- Member's Remarks
- Public Hearing
- Detailed Consideration
For more on introducing a private bill
At the opening of the sitting, the committee chair invites the Member who introduced the bill to address the committee. The Member introduces the promoter and the promoter’s attorney and then makes a brief statement on the content of the bill.
Once the bill has been introduced, the minister concerned and the MNAs are invited to make brief preliminary remarks.
The promoter gives the broad outlines of the bill and makes a case for its enactment. The promoter’s attorney provides legal explanations. Finally, the stakeholders are invited to speak to the bill.
Once the various parties have been heard and the members of the committee have spoken, the bill is considered in detail. The preamble and each section are considered and voted on individually.
The promoter can suggest changes (amendments) to the bill. However, only a member of the committee can move that the bill be amended. Amendments can alter existing sections or add or remove sections, providing that the principle of the bill remains unchanged. As with the sections of the bill itself, each amendment is passed or rejected individually by the members of the committee.
Since the bill belongs to the promoter, the promoter may at any time withdraw or abandon all or part of it.
The members of the committee may discuss the bill during the consideration of any of its sections. The promoter and any stakeholders may participate in the discussion with the permission of the committee. The sitting closes with brief final remarks.
Committee meetings are governed by standing orders 264 to 270 and rules 32 to 41 of the Rules for the Conduct of Proceedings of the National Assembly.