Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991, as amended to 2013


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

g. whereby persons of any such description as mentioned in subsection (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;
… (Sec. 27)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) The Supreme Court shall, save as otherwise provided in section 122 of this Constitution, have original jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other Courts—
a. in all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of any provision of this Constitution; and
b. where any question arises whether an enactment was made in excess of the power conferred upon Parliament or any other authority or person by law or under this Constitution.
(2) Where any question relating to any matter or question as is referred to in subsection (1) arises in any proceedings in any Court, other than the Supreme Court, that Court shall stay the proceedings and refer the question of law involved to the Supreme Court for determination; and the Court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court. (Sec. 124)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) A person who alleges that an enactment or anything contained in or done under the authority of that or any other enactment is inconsistent with, or is in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, may at any time bring an action in the Supreme Court for a declaration to that effect.
(2) The Supreme Court shall, for the purposes of a declaration under subsection (1), make such orders and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for giving effect to, or enabling effect to be given to, the declaration so made.
… (Sec. 127)

Education

(1) The Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal rights and adequate educational opportunities for all citizens at all levels by—
a. ensuring that every citizen is given the opportunity to be educated to the best of his ability, aptitude and inclination by providing educational facilities at all levels and aspects of education such as primary, secondary, vocational, technical, college and university;
b. safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups, such as children, women and the disabled in security educational facilities; and
c. providing the necessary structures, finance and supportive facilities for education as and when practicable.
(2) The Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy, and to this end shall direct its educational policy towards achieving—
a. free adult literacy programmes;
b. free compulsory basic education at primary and junior secondary school levels; and
c. free senior secondary education as and when practicable.
… (Sec. 9)

Employment Rights and Protection

(3) The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that—
a. every citizen, without discrimination on any grounds whatsoever, shall have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunities to secure suitable employment;
b.conditions of service and work are fair, just and humane and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life;
c. the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused, and in particular that special provisions be made for working women with children, having due regard to the resources of the State;

e. there is equal pay for equal work without discrimination on account of sex, and that adequate and satisfactory remuneration is paid to all persons in employment;
… (Sec. 8)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) The motto of the Republic of Sierra Leone shall be Unity, Freedom and Justice.
(2) Accordingly, the State shall promote national integration and unity and discourage discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, circumstance of birth, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties.
… (Sec. 6)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) The Social Order of the State shall be founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
(2) In furtherance of the Social Order—
a. every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations, and opportunities before the law, and the State shall ensure that every citizen has an equal right and access to all opportunities and benefits based on merit;

c. the Government shall secure and maintain the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts of law and unfettered access thereto, and to this end shall ensure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity, and that opportunities for securing justice are not denied any citizen by reason of economic or other disability.
… (Sec. 8)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
… (Sec. 15)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7), and (8), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law; or
e. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe or customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons; or
f. for authorising the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of public emergency; or
g. whereby persons of any such description as mentioned in subsection (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a defence force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law or of membership of Parliament.
(6) Subsection (2) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provisions of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5).
(7) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) may be subjected to any restriction of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 18, 22, 24, 25 and 262 being such a restriction as is authorised by subsection (3) of section 18, subsection (2) of section 22, subsection (5) of section 24, subsection (2) of section 25 or subsection (2) of section 26, as the case may be.
(8) The exercise of any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person under or by this Constitution or any other law shall not be enquired into by any Court on the grounds that it contravenes the provision of subsection (2). (Sec. 27)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(2) In this Constitution unless a contrary intention appears—
a. words importing male persons shall include female persons and corporations;
… (Sec. 171)

Obligations of the State

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
c. respect for private and family life, and
d. protection from deprivation of property without compensation;
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others, or the public interest. (Sec. 15)

Obligations of Private Parties

Every citizen shall—

e. respect the dignity and religion of other individuals, and the rights and interests of others;
… (Sec. 13)

Obligations of Private Parties

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
c. respect for private and family life, and
d. protection from deprivation of property without compensation;
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others, or the public interest. (Sec.15)

Judicial Protection

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), if any person alleges that any of the provisions of sections 16 to 27 (inclusive) has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him by any person (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person, (or that other person), may apply by motion to the Supreme Court for redress.
(2) The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction—
a. to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1); and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to in pursuance of subsection (3), and may make such order, issue such writs, and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing, or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of the said sections 16 to 27 (inclusive) to the protection of which the person concerned is entitled:
Provided that the Supreme Court shall not exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.
(3) If in any proceedings in any court other than the Supreme Court, any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 16 to 27 inclusive, that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Supreme Court.
… (Sec. 28)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall, not later than twelve months from the commencement of this Constitution, or so soon thereafter as Parliament may determine, by an Act of Parliament establish the office of Ombudsman.
(2) The Act of Parliament shall define the functions and duties of the Ombudsman, which shall include the investigation of any action taken or omitted to be taken by or on behalf of—
a. any department or Ministry of Government;
b. any statutory corporation or institutions of higher learning or education, set up entirely or partly out of public funds;
c. any member of the Public Service, being an action taken or omitted to be taken in the exercise of the administrative functions of that department, ministry, statutory corporation, institution or person. (Sec. 146)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
c. respect for private and family life, and
d. protection from deprivation of property without compensation;
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others, or the public interest. (Sec. 15)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

f. for authorising the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of public emergency;
… (Sec. 27)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(5) During a period of public emergency, the President may make such regulations and take such measures as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of maintaining and securing peace, order and good government in Sierra Leone or any part thereof.
(6) Without derogating from the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (5) and notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, the regulations or measures may, so far as appears to the President to be necessary or expedient for any of the purposes mentioned in that subsection—
a. make provision for the detention of persons, the restriction of the movement of persons within defined localities, and the deportation and exclusion of persons other than citizens of Sierra Leone from Sierra Leone or any part thereof;
b. authorise—
i.the taking of possession or control on behalf of the Government of any property or undertaking;
ii.the acquisition on behalf of the Government of any property other than land;
c. authorise the entering and search of any premises;
d.amend any law, suspend the operation of any law, and apply any law with or without modification:
Provided that such amendment, suspension or modification shall not apply to this Constitution;
e. provide for charging, in respect of the grant or issue of any licence, permit, certificate or other document for the purpose of the regulations, such fees as may be prescribed by or under the regulations;
f. provide for payment of compensation and remuneration to persons affected by the regulations;
g. provide for the apprehension, trial and punishment of persons offending against the regulations;
h. provide for maintaining such supplies and services as are, in the opinion of the President, essential to the life and well-being of the community:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall authorise the making of regulations during a period of public emergency for the trial of persons who are not members of defence forces by military courts.

(18) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question authorises the taking during a period of a state of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists immediately before and during that period of a state of public emergency. (Sec. 29)

Marriage and Family Life

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—

c. respect for private and family life;
… (Sec. 15)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law;
… (Sec. 27)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) On and after the 14th day of June, 1978, no Court having jurisdiction under the laws of Sierra Leone shall, by virtue of the Colonial and Other Territories (Divorce Jurisdiction) Act, 1926 to 1950, have jurisdiction to make a decree for the dissolution of a marriage, or as incidental thereto to make an order as to any matter, unless proceedings for the decree were instituted before the commencement of this Constitution.
(2) Except as provided by subsection (1) and subject to any provision to the contrary which may be made on or after the commencement of this Constitution by or under any law made by any legislature established for Sierra Leone, all courts having jurisdiction under the laws of Sierra Leone shall on and after that day have the same jurisdiction under the said Acts as they would have had if this Constitution had not been passed.
(3) The reference in subsection (1) to proceedings for the dissolution of a marriage includes references to proceedings for such a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage as is authorised by section 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1950. (Sec. 184)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a defence force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law or of membership of Parliament.
… (Sec. 27)

Political Rights and Association

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—

b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
… (Sec. 15)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to any political party, trade unions or other economic, social or professional associations, national or international, for the protection of his interests.
… (Sec. 26)

Political Rights and Association

Every citizen of Sierra Leone being eighteen years of age and above and of sound mind shall have the right to vote, and accordingly shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.
(Sec. 31)

Political Rights and Association

(1) In any referendum held pursuant to an Act of Parliament, every person who is entitled to vote in elections of Members of Parliament shall be entitled to vote at such referendum and no other person may so vote;
… (Sec. 37)

Political Parties

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, political parties may be established to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, and social and economic programmes of a national character, and to sponsor candidates for Presidential, Parliamentary or Local Government elections.
(2) The internal organisation of a political party shall conform to democratic principles, and its aims, objectives, purposes and programmes shall not contravene, or be inconsistent with, any provisions of this Constitution.
(3) A statement of the sources of income and the audited accounts of a political party, together with a statement of its assets and liabilities, shall be submitted annually to the Political Parties Registration Commission, but no such account shall be audited by a member of the political party whose account is submitted.
(4) No political party shall have as a leader a person who is not qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.
(5) No association, by whatever name called, shall be registered or be allowed to operate or to function as a political party if the Political Parties Registration Commission is satisfied that—
a. membership or leadership of the party is restricted to members of any particular tribal or ethnic group or religious faith; or
b. the name, symbol, colour or motto of the party has exclusive or particular significance or connotation to members of any particular tribal or ethnic group or religious faith; or
c. the party is formed for the sole purpose of securing or advancing the interests and welfare of a particular tribal or ethnic group, community, geographical area or religious faith; or
d. the party does not have a registered office in each of the Provincial Headquarter towns and the Western Area.
(6) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, and in furtherance of the provisions of this section, Parliament may make laws regulating the registration, functions and operation of political parties.
(7) Any association aggrieved by a decision of the Political Parties Registration Commission under this section may appeal to the Supreme Court and the decision of the Court shall be final.
(8) For the purposes of this section the expression—
“association” includes anybody of persons, corporate or incorporate, who agree to act together for any common purpose, or an association formed for any ethnic, social, cultural, occupational or religious purpose;
and “political party” means any association registered as a political party as prescribed by subsection (5). (Sec. 35)

Electoral Bodies

(1) There shall be an Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone.
… (Sec. 32)

Electoral Bodies

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Electoral Commission shall be responsible for the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for, and of, all public elections and referenda; and for that purpose shall have power to make regulations by statutory instrument for the registration of voters, the conduct of Presidential, Parliamentary or Local Government elections and referenda, and other matters connected therewith, including regulations for voting by proxy. (Sec. 33)

Head of State

(1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sierra Leone who shall be Head of State, the supreme executive authority of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
… (Sec. 40)

Head of State

No person shall be qualified for election as President unless he—
a. is a citizen of Sierra Leone;
b. is a member of a political party;
c. has attained the age of forty years; and
d. is otherwise qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament. (Sec. 41)

Head of State

1. A Presidential candidate shall be nominated by a political party.
… (Sec. 42)

Vice-President

(1) There shall be a Vice-President of the Republic of Sierra Leone who shall be the Principal Assistant to the President in the discharge of his executive functions.
(2) A person—
a. shall be designated a candidate for the office of Vice-President by a Presidential candidate before a Presidential election;
b. shall not be qualified to be a candidate for the office of Vice-President unless he has the qualifications specified in section 41.
(3) A candidate shall be deemed to be duly elected as Vice-President if the candidate who designated him as candidate for election to the office of Vice-President has been duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions of section 42.
… (Sec. 54)

Government

(1) There shall be, in addition to the office of Vice-President, such other offices of Ministers and Deputy Ministers as may be established by the President:
Provided that no Member of Parliament shall be appointed a Minister or Deputy Minister.
(2) A person shall not be appointed a Minister or Deputy Minister unless—
a. he is qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament; and
b. he has not contested and lost as a candidate in the general election immediately preceding his nomination for appointment; and
c. his nomination is approved by Parliament.
… (Sec. 56)

Government

(1) There shall be a Cabinet whose functions shall be to advise the President in the government of Sierra Leone and which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and such Ministers as the President may from time to time appoint.
… (Sec. 59)

Legislature

(1) There shall be a legislature of Sierra Leone which shall be known as Parliament, and shall consist of the President, the Speaker and Members of Parliament.
… (Sec. 73)

Legislature

Subject to the provisions of section 76, any person who—
a. is a citizen of Sierra Leone (otherwise than by naturalization); and
b. has attained the age of twenty-one years; and
c. is an elector whose name is on a register of electors under the Franchise and Electoral Registration Act, 1961, or under any Act of Parliament amending or replacing that Act; and [FN: Act No. 44 of 1961.]
d. is able to speak and to read the English Language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament, shall be qualified for election as such a Member of Parliament:
Provided that a person who becomes a citizen of Sierra Leone by registration by law shall not be qualified for election as such a Member of Parliament or of any Local Authority unless he shall have resided continuously in Sierra Leone for twenty-five years after such registration or shall have served in the Civil or Regular Armed Services of Sierra Leone for a continuous period of twenty-five years. (Sec. 75)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
… (Sec. 15)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law;
… (Sec. 27)

Protection from Violence

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, … (Sec. 15)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude or be required to perform forced labour or traffic or deal in human beings.
… (Sec. 19)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be subject to any form of torture or any punishment or other treatment which is inhuman or degrading.
… (Sec. 20)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The State shall within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution—

b. manage and control the national economy in such a manner as to secure the maximum welfare and freedom of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of opportunity;
… (Sec. 7)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The Social Order of the State shall be founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
(2) In furtherance of the Social Order—
a. every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations, and opportunities before the law, and the State shall ensure that every citizen has an equal right and access to all opportunities and benefits based on merit;
… (Sec. 8)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be subjected to the search of his person or his property or the entry by others on his premises, or interference with his correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic and electronic communications.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision that is reasonably required—

e. for the purpose of affording such special care and assistance as are necessary for the health, safety, development and well-being of women, children and young persons, the aged and the handicapped; and except in so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. (Sec. 22)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The law applicable to any benefits to which this section applies shall, in relation to any person who has been granted, or who is eligible for the grant of such benefits, be that in force on the relevant date or any later law that is not less favourable to that person.

(5) This section applies to any benefits payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, gratuities or compensation to persons who are or have been public officers in respect of their service in the public service or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service.
… (Sec. 161)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) Where any benefits to which this section applies can be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended by any law, those benefits shall not be so withheld, reduced in amount or suspended—
a.in the case of benefits which have been granted in respect of service in the public service of any person who at the time when he ceased to be a public-officer was subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or for which any person may be eligible in respect of such service, without the approval of that Commission; or
b.in any other case, without the approval of the Public Service Commission or the appropriate Council, as the case may be.
(2) No benefits to which this section applies that have been granted to or in respect of any person who is or has been a Judge of the High Court, a Justice of Appeal or of the Supreme Court, or a former Judge of the Supreme Court or for which any such person or his widow, children, dependants or personal representatives may be eligible, shall be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended on the ground that that person has been guilty of misconduct or misbehavior unless that person has been removed from judicial office by reason of such misconduct or misbehaviour.
(3) This section applies to any benefits payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, gratuities or compensation to persons who are or have been public officers in respect of their service in the public service or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service whether on a contributory or non-contributory basis. (Sec. 162)

Status of the Constitution

Every citizen shall—
a. abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, … (Sec. 13)

Status of the Constitution

(15) This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Sierra Leone and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no effect. (Sec. 171)

Status of the Constitution

(1) The existing law shall, notwithstanding the repeal of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act, 1978, have effect after the entry into force of this Constitution as if they had been made in pursuance of this Constitution and shall be read and construed with such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with this Constitution.
… (Sec. 177)

Customary Law

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law;
e. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe or customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons;
… (Sec. 27)

Customary Law

(1) The institution of Chieftaincy as established by customary law and usage and its non- abolition by legislation is hereby guaranteed and preserved.
(2) Without derogating from the generality of the provisions of subsection (1), no provision of law in so far as it provides for the abolition of the office of Paramount Chief as existing by customary law and usage immediately before the entry into force of this Constitution, shall have effect unless it is included in an Act of Parliament and the provisions of Section 108 shall apply in relation to the Bill for such an Act as they apply in relation to the Bill for an Act of Parliament that alters any of the provisions of this Constitution that are referred to in subsection (3) of that section.
(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with, or in contravention of, the provisions of subsection (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the determination, in accordance with appropriate customary law and usage, of the validity of the nomination, election, unseating or replacement of any Paramount Chief, or the question of restraining in any way the exercise of any rights, duties, privileges or functions conferred upon, or enjoyed by him, by virtue of his office or the installation or deposition of a person as a Paramount Chief.
(4) A Paramount Chief may be removed from office by the President for any gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office if after a public inquiry conducted under the Chairmanship of a Judge of the High Court or a Justice of Appeal or a Justice of the Supreme Court, the Commission of Inquiry makes an adverse finding against the Paramount Chief, and the President is of the opinion that it is in the public interest that the Paramount Chief should be removed.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and in furtherance of the provisions of this section, Parliament shall make laws for the qualifications, election, powers, functions, removal and other matters connected with Chieftaincy. (Sec. 72)

Customary Law

(1) The laws of Sierra Leone shall comprise—
a. this Constitution;
b. laws made by or under the authority of Parliament as established by this Constitution;
c. any orders, rules, regulations and other statutory instruments made by any person or authority pursuant to a power conferred in that behalf by this Constitution or any other law;
d. the existing law; and
e. the common law.
(2) The common law of Sierra Leone shall comprise the rules of law generally known as the common law, the rules of law generally known as the doctrines of equity, and the rules of customary law including those determined by the Superior Court of Judicature.
(3) For the purposes of this section the expression “customary law” means the rules of law which by custom are applicable to particular communities in Sierra Leone.
… (Sec. 170)

Customary Law

(1) In this Constitution unless a contrary intention appears—
• “Chiefdom Council” means a Chiefdom Council constituted under the Chiefdom Councils Act;

• “law” includes—
a. any instrument having the force of law made in exercise of a power conferred by law;
b. customary law and any other unwritten rules of law;
… (Sec. 171)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

g. whereby persons of any such description as mentioned in subsection (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;
… (Sec. 27)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) The Supreme Court shall, save as otherwise provided in section 122 of this Constitution, have original jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other Courts—
a. in all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of any provision of this Constitution; and
b. where any question arises whether an enactment was made in excess of the power conferred upon Parliament or any other authority or person by law or under this Constitution.
(2) Where any question relating to any matter or question as is referred to in subsection (1) arises in any proceedings in any Court, other than the Supreme Court, that Court shall stay the proceedings and refer the question of law involved to the Supreme Court for determination; and the Court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court. (Sec. 124)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) A person who alleges that an enactment or anything contained in or done under the authority of that or any other enactment is inconsistent with, or is in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, may at any time bring an action in the Supreme Court for a declaration to that effect.
(2) The Supreme Court shall, for the purposes of a declaration under subsection (1), make such orders and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for giving effect to, or enabling effect to be given to, the declaration so made.
… (Sec. 127)

Education

English

(1) The Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal rights and adequate educational opportunities for all citizens at all levels by—
a. ensuring that every citizen is given the opportunity to be educated to the best of his ability, aptitude and inclination by providing educational facilities at all levels and aspects of education such as primary, secondary, vocational, technical, college and university;
b. safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups, such as children, women and the disabled in security educational facilities; and
c. providing the necessary structures, finance and supportive facilities for education as and when practicable.
(2) The Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy, and to this end shall direct its educational policy towards achieving—
a. free adult literacy programmes;
b. free compulsory basic education at primary and junior secondary school levels; and
c. free senior secondary education as and when practicable.
… (Sec. 9)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

(3) The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that—
a. every citizen, without discrimination on any grounds whatsoever, shall have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunities to secure suitable employment;
b.conditions of service and work are fair, just and humane and that there are adequate facilities for leisure and for social, religious and cultural life;
c. the health, safety and welfare of all persons in employment are safeguarded and not endangered or abused, and in particular that special provisions be made for working women with children, having due regard to the resources of the State;

e. there is equal pay for equal work without discrimination on account of sex, and that adequate and satisfactory remuneration is paid to all persons in employment;
… (Sec. 8)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) The motto of the Republic of Sierra Leone shall be Unity, Freedom and Justice.
(2) Accordingly, the State shall promote national integration and unity and discourage discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, circumstance of birth, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties.
… (Sec. 6)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) The Social Order of the State shall be founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
(2) In furtherance of the Social Order—
a. every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations, and opportunities before the law, and the State shall ensure that every citizen has an equal right and access to all opportunities and benefits based on merit;

c. the Government shall secure and maintain the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts of law and unfettered access thereto, and to this end shall ensure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity, and that opportunities for securing justice are not denied any citizen by reason of economic or other disability.
… (Sec. 8)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
… (Sec. 15)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7), and (8), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law; or
e. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe or customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons; or
f. for authorising the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of public emergency; or
g. whereby persons of any such description as mentioned in subsection (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a defence force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law or of membership of Parliament.
(6) Subsection (2) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provisions of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5).
(7) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) may be subjected to any restriction of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 18, 22, 24, 25 and 262 being such a restriction as is authorised by subsection (3) of section 18, subsection (2) of section 22, subsection (5) of section 24, subsection (2) of section 25 or subsection (2) of section 26, as the case may be.
(8) The exercise of any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person under or by this Constitution or any other law shall not be enquired into by any Court on the grounds that it contravenes the provision of subsection (2). (Sec. 27)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(2) In this Constitution unless a contrary intention appears—
a. words importing male persons shall include female persons and corporations;
… (Sec. 171)

Obligations of the State

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
c. respect for private and family life, and
d. protection from deprivation of property without compensation;
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others, or the public interest. (Sec. 15)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

Every citizen shall—

e. respect the dignity and religion of other individuals, and the rights and interests of others;
… (Sec. 13)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
c. respect for private and family life, and
d. protection from deprivation of property without compensation;
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others, or the public interest. (Sec.15)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), if any person alleges that any of the provisions of sections 16 to 27 (inclusive) has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him by any person (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person, (or that other person), may apply by motion to the Supreme Court for redress.
(2) The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction—
a. to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1); and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to in pursuance of subsection (3), and may make such order, issue such writs, and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing, or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of the said sections 16 to 27 (inclusive) to the protection of which the person concerned is entitled:
Provided that the Supreme Court shall not exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.
(3) If in any proceedings in any court other than the Supreme Court, any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 16 to 27 inclusive, that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the Supreme Court.
… (Sec. 28)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall, not later than twelve months from the commencement of this Constitution, or so soon thereafter as Parliament may determine, by an Act of Parliament establish the office of Ombudsman.
(2) The Act of Parliament shall define the functions and duties of the Ombudsman, which shall include the investigation of any action taken or omitted to be taken by or on behalf of—
a. any department or Ministry of Government;
b. any statutory corporation or institutions of higher learning or education, set up entirely or partly out of public funds;
c. any member of the Public Service, being an action taken or omitted to be taken in the exercise of the administrative functions of that department, ministry, statutory corporation, institution or person. (Sec. 146)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
c. respect for private and family life, and
d. protection from deprivation of property without compensation;
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others, or the public interest. (Sec. 15)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

f. for authorising the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of public emergency;
… (Sec. 27)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(5) During a period of public emergency, the President may make such regulations and take such measures as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of maintaining and securing peace, order and good government in Sierra Leone or any part thereof.
(6) Without derogating from the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (5) and notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, the regulations or measures may, so far as appears to the President to be necessary or expedient for any of the purposes mentioned in that subsection—
a. make provision for the detention of persons, the restriction of the movement of persons within defined localities, and the deportation and exclusion of persons other than citizens of Sierra Leone from Sierra Leone or any part thereof;
b. authorise—
i.the taking of possession or control on behalf of the Government of any property or undertaking;
ii.the acquisition on behalf of the Government of any property other than land;
c. authorise the entering and search of any premises;
d.amend any law, suspend the operation of any law, and apply any law with or without modification:
Provided that such amendment, suspension or modification shall not apply to this Constitution;
e. provide for charging, in respect of the grant or issue of any licence, permit, certificate or other document for the purpose of the regulations, such fees as may be prescribed by or under the regulations;
f. provide for payment of compensation and remuneration to persons affected by the regulations;
g. provide for the apprehension, trial and punishment of persons offending against the regulations;
h. provide for maintaining such supplies and services as are, in the opinion of the President, essential to the life and well-being of the community:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall authorise the making of regulations during a period of public emergency for the trial of persons who are not members of defence forces by military courts.

(18) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question authorises the taking during a period of a state of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists immediately before and during that period of a state of public emergency. (Sec. 29)

Marriage and Family Life

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—

c. respect for private and family life;
… (Sec. 15)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law;
… (Sec. 27)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) On and after the 14th day of June, 1978, no Court having jurisdiction under the laws of Sierra Leone shall, by virtue of the Colonial and Other Territories (Divorce Jurisdiction) Act, 1926 to 1950, have jurisdiction to make a decree for the dissolution of a marriage, or as incidental thereto to make an order as to any matter, unless proceedings for the decree were instituted before the commencement of this Constitution.
(2) Except as provided by subsection (1) and subject to any provision to the contrary which may be made on or after the commencement of this Constitution by or under any law made by any legislature established for Sierra Leone, all courts having jurisdiction under the laws of Sierra Leone shall on and after that day have the same jurisdiction under the said Acts as they would have had if this Constitution had not been passed.
(3) The reference in subsection (1) to proceedings for the dissolution of a marriage includes references to proceedings for such a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage as is authorised by section 1 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1950. (Sec. 184)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a defence force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law or of membership of Parliament.
… (Sec. 27)

Political Rights and Association

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—

b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
… (Sec. 15)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to any political party, trade unions or other economic, social or professional associations, national or international, for the protection of his interests.
… (Sec. 26)

Political Rights and Association

English

Every citizen of Sierra Leone being eighteen years of age and above and of sound mind shall have the right to vote, and accordingly shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.
(Sec. 31)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) In any referendum held pursuant to an Act of Parliament, every person who is entitled to vote in elections of Members of Parliament shall be entitled to vote at such referendum and no other person may so vote;
… (Sec. 37)

Political Parties

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, political parties may be established to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, and social and economic programmes of a national character, and to sponsor candidates for Presidential, Parliamentary or Local Government elections.
(2) The internal organisation of a political party shall conform to democratic principles, and its aims, objectives, purposes and programmes shall not contravene, or be inconsistent with, any provisions of this Constitution.
(3) A statement of the sources of income and the audited accounts of a political party, together with a statement of its assets and liabilities, shall be submitted annually to the Political Parties Registration Commission, but no such account shall be audited by a member of the political party whose account is submitted.
(4) No political party shall have as a leader a person who is not qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.
(5) No association, by whatever name called, shall be registered or be allowed to operate or to function as a political party if the Political Parties Registration Commission is satisfied that—
a. membership or leadership of the party is restricted to members of any particular tribal or ethnic group or religious faith; or
b. the name, symbol, colour or motto of the party has exclusive or particular significance or connotation to members of any particular tribal or ethnic group or religious faith; or
c. the party is formed for the sole purpose of securing or advancing the interests and welfare of a particular tribal or ethnic group, community, geographical area or religious faith; or
d. the party does not have a registered office in each of the Provincial Headquarter towns and the Western Area.
(6) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, and in furtherance of the provisions of this section, Parliament may make laws regulating the registration, functions and operation of political parties.
(7) Any association aggrieved by a decision of the Political Parties Registration Commission under this section may appeal to the Supreme Court and the decision of the Court shall be final.
(8) For the purposes of this section the expression—
“association” includes anybody of persons, corporate or incorporate, who agree to act together for any common purpose, or an association formed for any ethnic, social, cultural, occupational or religious purpose;
and “political party” means any association registered as a political party as prescribed by subsection (5). (Sec. 35)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) There shall be an Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone.
… (Sec. 32)

Electoral Bodies

English

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Electoral Commission shall be responsible for the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for, and of, all public elections and referenda; and for that purpose shall have power to make regulations by statutory instrument for the registration of voters, the conduct of Presidential, Parliamentary or Local Government elections and referenda, and other matters connected therewith, including regulations for voting by proxy. (Sec. 33)

Head of State

English

(1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sierra Leone who shall be Head of State, the supreme executive authority of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
… (Sec. 40)

Head of State

English

No person shall be qualified for election as President unless he—
a. is a citizen of Sierra Leone;
b. is a member of a political party;
c. has attained the age of forty years; and
d. is otherwise qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament. (Sec. 41)

Head of State

English

1. A Presidential candidate shall be nominated by a political party.
… (Sec. 42)

Vice-President

English

(1) There shall be a Vice-President of the Republic of Sierra Leone who shall be the Principal Assistant to the President in the discharge of his executive functions.
(2) A person—
a. shall be designated a candidate for the office of Vice-President by a Presidential candidate before a Presidential election;
b. shall not be qualified to be a candidate for the office of Vice-President unless he has the qualifications specified in section 41.
(3) A candidate shall be deemed to be duly elected as Vice-President if the candidate who designated him as candidate for election to the office of Vice-President has been duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions of section 42.
… (Sec. 54)

Government

English

(1) There shall be, in addition to the office of Vice-President, such other offices of Ministers and Deputy Ministers as may be established by the President:
Provided that no Member of Parliament shall be appointed a Minister or Deputy Minister.
(2) A person shall not be appointed a Minister or Deputy Minister unless—
a. he is qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament; and
b. he has not contested and lost as a candidate in the general election immediately preceding his nomination for appointment; and
c. his nomination is approved by Parliament.
… (Sec. 56)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Cabinet whose functions shall be to advise the President in the government of Sierra Leone and which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and such Ministers as the President may from time to time appoint.
… (Sec. 59)

Legislature

English

(1) There shall be a legislature of Sierra Leone which shall be known as Parliament, and shall consist of the President, the Speaker and Members of Parliament.
… (Sec. 73)

Legislature

English

Subject to the provisions of section 76, any person who—
a. is a citizen of Sierra Leone (otherwise than by naturalization); and
b. has attained the age of twenty-one years; and
c. is an elector whose name is on a register of electors under the Franchise and Electoral Registration Act, 1961, or under any Act of Parliament amending or replacing that Act; and [FN: Act No. 44 of 1961.]
d. is able to speak and to read the English Language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament, shall be qualified for election as such a Member of Parliament:
Provided that a person who becomes a citizen of Sierra Leone by registration by law shall not be qualified for election as such a Member of Parliament or of any Local Authority unless he shall have resided continuously in Sierra Leone for twenty-five years after such registration or shall have served in the Civil or Regular Armed Services of Sierra Leone for a continuous period of twenty-five years. (Sec. 75)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, the enjoyment of property, and the protection of law;
… (Sec. 15)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law;
… (Sec. 27)

Protection from Violence

English

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following—
a. life, liberty, security of person, … (Sec. 15)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude or be required to perform forced labour or traffic or deal in human beings.
… (Sec. 19)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be subject to any form of torture or any punishment or other treatment which is inhuman or degrading.
… (Sec. 20)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The State shall within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution—

b. manage and control the national economy in such a manner as to secure the maximum welfare and freedom of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of opportunity;
… (Sec. 7)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The Social Order of the State shall be founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
(2) In furtherance of the Social Order—
a. every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations, and opportunities before the law, and the State shall ensure that every citizen has an equal right and access to all opportunities and benefits based on merit;
… (Sec. 8)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be subjected to the search of his person or his property or the entry by others on his premises, or interference with his correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic and electronic communications.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision that is reasonably required—

e. for the purpose of affording such special care and assistance as are necessary for the health, safety, development and well-being of women, children and young persons, the aged and the handicapped; and except in so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. (Sec. 22)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The law applicable to any benefits to which this section applies shall, in relation to any person who has been granted, or who is eligible for the grant of such benefits, be that in force on the relevant date or any later law that is not less favourable to that person.

(5) This section applies to any benefits payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, gratuities or compensation to persons who are or have been public officers in respect of their service in the public service or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service.
… (Sec. 161)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) Where any benefits to which this section applies can be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended by any law, those benefits shall not be so withheld, reduced in amount or suspended—
a.in the case of benefits which have been granted in respect of service in the public service of any person who at the time when he ceased to be a public-officer was subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or for which any person may be eligible in respect of such service, without the approval of that Commission; or
b.in any other case, without the approval of the Public Service Commission or the appropriate Council, as the case may be.
(2) No benefits to which this section applies that have been granted to or in respect of any person who is or has been a Judge of the High Court, a Justice of Appeal or of the Supreme Court, or a former Judge of the Supreme Court or for which any such person or his widow, children, dependants or personal representatives may be eligible, shall be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended on the ground that that person has been guilty of misconduct or misbehavior unless that person has been removed from judicial office by reason of such misconduct or misbehaviour.
(3) This section applies to any benefits payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, gratuities or compensation to persons who are or have been public officers in respect of their service in the public service or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service whether on a contributory or non-contributory basis. (Sec. 162)

Status of the Constitution

English

Every citizen shall—
a. abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, … (Sec. 13)

Status of the Constitution

English

(15) This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Sierra Leone and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no effect. (Sec. 171)

Status of the Constitution

English

(1) The existing law shall, notwithstanding the repeal of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act, 1978, have effect after the entry into force of this Constitution as if they had been made in pursuance of this Constitution and shall be read and construed with such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with this Constitution.
… (Sec. 177)

Customary Law

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), (5), and (7), no law shall make provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision—

d. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other interests of personal law;
e. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe or customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons;
… (Sec. 27)

Customary Law

English

(1) The institution of Chieftaincy as established by customary law and usage and its non- abolition by legislation is hereby guaranteed and preserved.
(2) Without derogating from the generality of the provisions of subsection (1), no provision of law in so far as it provides for the abolition of the office of Paramount Chief as existing by customary law and usage immediately before the entry into force of this Constitution, shall have effect unless it is included in an Act of Parliament and the provisions of Section 108 shall apply in relation to the Bill for such an Act as they apply in relation to the Bill for an Act of Parliament that alters any of the provisions of this Constitution that are referred to in subsection (3) of that section.
(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with, or in contravention of, the provisions of subsection (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the determination, in accordance with appropriate customary law and usage, of the validity of the nomination, election, unseating or replacement of any Paramount Chief, or the question of restraining in any way the exercise of any rights, duties, privileges or functions conferred upon, or enjoyed by him, by virtue of his office or the installation or deposition of a person as a Paramount Chief.
(4) A Paramount Chief may be removed from office by the President for any gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office if after a public inquiry conducted under the Chairmanship of a Judge of the High Court or a Justice of Appeal or a Justice of the Supreme Court, the Commission of Inquiry makes an adverse finding against the Paramount Chief, and the President is of the opinion that it is in the public interest that the Paramount Chief should be removed.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and in furtherance of the provisions of this section, Parliament shall make laws for the qualifications, election, powers, functions, removal and other matters connected with Chieftaincy. (Sec. 72)

Customary Law

English

(1) The laws of Sierra Leone shall comprise—
a. this Constitution;
b. laws made by or under the authority of Parliament as established by this Constitution;
c. any orders, rules, regulations and other statutory instruments made by any person or authority pursuant to a power conferred in that behalf by this Constitution or any other law;
d. the existing law; and
e. the common law.
(2) The common law of Sierra Leone shall comprise the rules of law generally known as the common law, the rules of law generally known as the doctrines of equity, and the rules of customary law including those determined by the Superior Court of Judicature.
(3) For the purposes of this section the expression “customary law” means the rules of law which by custom are applicable to particular communities in Sierra Leone.
… (Sec. 170)

Customary Law

English

(1) In this Constitution unless a contrary intention appears—
• “Chiefdom Council” means a Chiefdom Council constituted under the Chiefdom Councils Act;

• “law” includes—
a. any instrument having the force of law made in exercise of a power conferred by law;
b. customary law and any other unwritten rules of law;
… (Sec. 171)

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Links to all sites last visited 2 March 2016

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Sections 18 (Protection of freedom of movement), 22 (Protection for privacy of home and other property), 24 (Protection of freedom of conscience), 25 (Protection of freedom of expression and the press) and 26 (Protection of freedom of assembly and association).