Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991

Published: 24/Sep/1991

Article 27 on Protection from discrimination provides:

(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 function 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—
(a) for the appropriation of revenues or other funds of Sierra Leone or for the imposition of taxation (including the levying of fees for the grant of licenses); or
(b) with respect to persons who are not citizens of Sierra Leone; or
(c) with respect to persons who acquire citizenship of Sierra Leone by registration or by naturalization or by resolution of Parliament; or
(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; or
(h) for the limitation of citizenship or relating to national registration or to the collection of demographic statistics.

(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 26 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).

Article 173 provides:

173.The provisions of any Consequential Provisions Act made under this Constitution and of any Act relating to citizenship shall not be amended, repealed, re-enacted or replaced unless the Bill incorporating such amendments, repeal, re-enactment or replacement is supported at the final vote thereupon by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the Members of Parliament.

Articles 42, 75 and 76 provide for qualifications of members of parliament and the president.

Download 1991 text from Sierra Leone Web: here.

Amending texts available from Sierra Leone Web here.

Download version updated with amendments to 2013 from Constitute Project here.

Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Discrimination, Naturalisation and Marriage
Regions: West Africa, Sierra Leone
Year: 1991