Source: (2006) Canadian Journal of Law and Society. 21(1):85-109.

But the introduction of the National Reconciliation Bill in Parliament and eventual passage of the National Reconciliation Act (Act 611) engendered great controversy and lively debate not only between the political parties in Parliament but also among the Ghanaian public. The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition party, boycotted the proceedings in Parliament at the consideration stage of the Bill and so did not partake in the final vote on the Bill.6 Outside Parliament, a lively debate developed among Ghanaians. The vibrant Ghanaian media (both print and electronic) and Parliament became the sites of contest. The main issues of contention centered on these questions: (i) does Ghana’s socio-political experience require the nation to go through a national reconciliation exercise? (ii) if yes, what period of history or what political regimes should be covered by such an exercise? (iii) how should members of the reconciliation body be appointed and by whom?, and (iv) what ought to be the subject (e.g. murder, torture, etc.) of investigation of such a body? Of these issues, the most contentious were issues (i) and (ii), that is, whether the nation’s past warrants the establishment of a National Reconciliation Commission and the period or regimes to be covered by the NRC’s investigations. The former will be the focus of this paper as the latter has already been addressed elsewhere. (excerpt)