(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.
(2) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, the legislative power of Sierra Leone is vested in Parliament.
(3) Parliament may make laws for the peace, security, order and good government of Sierra Leone.
Members of Parliament shall comprise the following:
Qualifications for Membership in Parliament Subject to the provisions of section 76, any person who:
(1) No person shall be qualified for election as a Member of Parliament:
A Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament:
(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether:
(2) The High Court to which any question is brought under subsection (1) shall determine the said question and give judgment thereon within four months after the commencement of the proceedings before that Court.
(3) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from the decision of the High Court on any matter determined pursuant to subsection (1), save that no appeal shall lie in respect of any interlocutory decisions of the High Court in such proceedings.
(4) The Court of Appeal before which an appeal is brought pursuant to subsection (3) shall determine the appeal and give judgment thereon within four months after the appeal was filed.
(5) The decision of the Court of Appeal on any matter pursuant to subsection (3) shall be final and not be inquired into by any Court.
(6) For the purpose of this section Parliament may make provision, or may authorise the making of provisions with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court or the Court of Appeal, and may confer upon such Courts such powers or may authorise the conferment thereon of such powers as may appear to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the said Courts effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon them by this section or by any law relating to the hearing of appeals from the High Court.
Every Member of Parliament shall, before taking his seat in Parliament, take and subscribe before Parliament the oath as set out in the Third Schedule, but a Member may, before taking that oath, take part in the election of a Speaker.
(1) Each session in Parliament shall be held at such place within Sierra Leone and shall commence at such time as the President may be Proclamation appoint.
(2) There shall be a session of Parliament at least once in every year, so that a period of twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of Parliament in one session and the first sitting thereof in the next session: Provided that there shall be a session of Parliament not later than twenty-eight days from the holding of a general election of Members of Parliament.
(3) The President shall at the beginning of each session of Parliament present to Parliament an address on the state of the nation.
(1) Parliament shall stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of five years commencing from the date of its first sitting after a general election.
(2) If there is in existence a state of public emergency in accordance with section 29 of this Constitution and the President considers it not practicable to hold elections, Parliament may, by resolution, extend the period of five years mentioned in subsection (1) from time to time but not beyond a period of six months at any one time.
(1) The President may at any time summon a meeting of Parliament.
(2) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (1), at least twenty per centum of all the Members of Parliament may request a meeting of Parliament and the Speaker shall, within fourteen days after the receipt of that request, summon a meeting of Parliament.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) and of Sections 29 and 84 of this Constitution, sittings of Parliament in any session after the commencement of that session shall be held at such times and on such days as Parliament shall appoint.
(4) Parliament shall sit for a period of not less than one hundred and twenty days in each year.
(1) A general election of the Members of Parliament shall be held not earlier than thirty days and not later than ninety days after any dissolution of Parliament: Provided that nominations for such elections shall in no case be closed within fourteen days after dissolution.
(2) If, when Parliament has been dissolved, the President considers that owing to the existence of a state of public emergency it would not be practicable to hold a general election within ninety days after the dissolution, the President may by Proclamation recall the Parliament that has been dissolved and the following provisions shall then have effect:
Presiding in Parliament
If objection is taken by any Member of Parliament that there are present in Parliament (besides the person presiding) less than one-fourth of all the Members of Parliament and the person presiding shall be so satisfied he shall thereupon adjourn Parliament.
The business of Parliament shall be conducted in the English Language.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, any question proposed for decision in Parliament shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the Members present and voting.
(2) The person presiding in Parliament may cast a vote whenever necessary to avoid an equality of votes but shall not vote in any other case; if the person presiding does not exercise his casting vote the question proposed for discussion in Parliament shall be deemed to be rejected.
(3) The rules of procedure of Parliament may provide that the vote of a Member upon a question in which he has a direct pecuniary interest shall be disallowed and if any such provision is made a Member whose vote is disallowed in accordance therewith shall be deemed not to have voted.
Unqualified persons sitting or voting
Any person who sits or votes in Parliament knowing or having reasonable ground for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one thousand Leones or such other sum as may be prescribed by Parliament for each day in which he so sits or votes in Parliament, which shall be recoverable by action in the High Court at the suit of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
(1) At the beginning of each session of Parliament, but in any case not later than twenty-one days thereafter, there shall be appointed from among its members the following Standing Committees, that is to say:
Committees of Parliament
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may regulate its own procedure, and may in particular make, amend and revoke Standing Orders for the orderly conduct of its own proceedings.
(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution or in any other law contained, no decision, order or direction of Parliament or any of its Committees or the Speaker, relating to the rules of procedure of Parliament, or to the application or interpretation of such rules, or any act done or purporting to have been done by Parliament or by the Speaker under any rules of procedure, shall be inquired into by any court.
(3) Parliament may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when Parliament first meets after the entry into force of this Constitution or after any dissolution of Parliament) and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of Parliament shall not invalidate those proceedings.
(4) Parliament may, for the purpose of the orderly and effective discharge of its business, make provision for the powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament, its Committees and the Members thereof.
Contempt of Parliament
Any act or omission which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the performance of its functions, or which obstructs or impedes any Member or officer thereof in the discharge of his duties or affronts the dignity of Parliament, or which tends either directly or indirectly to produce such a result shall be a contempt of Parliament.
Where an act or omission which constitutes contempt of Parliament is an offence under the criminal law, the exercise by Parliament of the power to punish for contempt shall not be a bar to the institution of proceedings under the criminal law.
The responsibilities of the Members of Parliament shall include the following:
There shall be freedom of speech, debate and proceedings in Parliament and that freedom shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, but without prejudice to the generality of section 97, no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against a Member of Parliament in any court or place out of Parliament by reason of anything said by him in Parliament.
(2) Whenever in the opinion of the person presiding in Parliament a statement made by a Member is prima facie defamatory of any person, the person presiding shall refer the matter for inquiry to the Committee of Privileges which shall report its findings to Parliament not later than thirty days of the matter being so referred.
(3) Where the Committee of Privileges reports to Parliament that the statement made by the Member is defamatory of any person, the Member who made the statement shall, within seven days of that report, render an apology at the bar of Parliament, the terms of which shall be approved by the Committee of Privileges and communicated to the person who has been defamed.
(4) Where a Member refuses to render an apology pursuant to the provisions of subsection (3), the Speaker shall suspend that Member for the duration of the session of Parliament in which the defamatory statement was made and a Member so suspended shall lose his Parliamentary privileges, immunities and remuneration which shall be restored to him if at any time before the end of the session he renders the apology as required under the provisions of subsection (3).
(5) Any person who may have made a contemporaneous report of the proceedings in Parliament including a statement which has been the subject of an inquiry pursuant to the provisions of subsection (2) shall publish the apology referred to in subsection (3) or the suspension or the apology referred to in subsection (4) with the same prominence as he published the first report; and if any such person fails to publish that apology he shall not be protected by privilege.
No civil or criminal process issuing from any court or place out of Parliament shall be served on or executed in relation to the Speaker or a Member or the Clerk of Parliament while he is on his way to attending or returning from any proceedings of Parliament.
(1) Neither the Speaker nor any Member of, nor the Clerk of Parliament shall be compelled, while attending Parliament, to appear as a witness in any court or place out of Parliament.
(2) The certificate of the Speaker that a Member or the Clerk is attending the proceedings of Parliament shall be conclusive evidence of attendance at Parliament.
Immunity from serving as juryman
Neither the Speaker nor any Member of, nor the Clerk of Parliament shall be required to serve on a jury in any court or place out of Parliament.
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, no person shall be under any civil or criminal liability in respect of the publication of:
(1) Every person summoned to attend to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or other document before Parliament shall be entitled, in respect of his evidence, or the production of such document, to the same privileges as if he were appearing before a Court.
(2) No public officer shall be required to produce before Parliament any document if the Speaker certifies that:
Power to make laws
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall be the supreme legislative authority for Sierra Leone.
(1) The power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercised by Bills passed by Parliament and signed by the President.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (8), a Bill shall not become law unless it has been duly passed and signed in accordance with this Constitution.
(3) An Act signed by the President shall come into operation on the date of its publication in the Gazette or such other date as may be prescribed therein or in any other enactment.
(4) When a Bill which has been duly passed and is signed by the President in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution it shall become law and the President shall thereupon cause it to be published in the Gazette as law.
(5) No law made by Parliament shall come into operation until it has been published in the Gazette, but Parliament may postpone the coming into operation of any such law and may make laws with retroactive effect.
(6) All laws made by Parliament shall be styled "Acts", and the words of enactment shall be "Enacted by the President and Members of Parliament in this present Parliament assembled.”
(7) Where a Bill has been passed by Parliament but the President refuses to sign it, the President shall within fourteen days of the presentation of the Bill for his signature cause the unsigned Bill to be returned to Parliament giving reasons for his refusal.
(8) Where a Bill is returned to Parliament pursuant to subsection (7) and that Bill is thereafter passed by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the Members of Parliament, it shall immediately become law and the Speaker shall thereupon cause it to be published in the Gazette.
(9) Nothing in this section or in section 53 of this Constitution shall prevent Parliament from conferring on any person or authority the power to make statutory instruments.
Minister may introduce Bill and be summoned to Parliament
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, Parliament may alter this Constitution.
(2) A Bill for an Act of Parliament under this section shall not be passed by Parliament unless—
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