The Constitution of Lesotho | Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017

The Constitution of Lesotho

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 12:06 -- ytraore
English

CONSTITUTION OF LESOTHO
Adopted in 1993,
Amended 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001
CHAPTER I: THE KINGDOM AND ITS CONSTITUTION
1. The Kingdom and its territory
(1)
Lesotho shall be a sovereign democratic kingdom.
...
2. The Constitution
This Constitution is the supreme law of Lesotho and
if any other law is inconsistent with this
Constitution, that other law shall, to the extent o
f the inconsistency, be void.
3. Official languages, National Seal, etc
(1)
The official languages of Lesotho shall be Sesotho
and English, and accordingly, no
instrument or transaction shall be invalid by reaso
n only that it is expressed or conducted in one
of those languages.
...
CHAPTER II: PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS
AND FREEDOMS
4. Fundamental human rights and freedoms
(1)
Whereas every person in Lesotho is entitled, whate
ver his race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or s
ocial origin, property, birth or other status to
fundamental human rights and freedoms, that is to s
ay, to each and all of the following –
(a) the right to life;
(b) the right to personal liberty;
(c) freedom of movement and residence;
(d) freedom from inhuman treatment;
(e) freedom from slavery and forced labour;
(f) freedom from arbitrary search or entry;
(g) the right to respect for private and family lif
e;
(h) the right to a fair trial of criminal charges a
gainst him and to a fair determination of his civil
rights and obligations;
(i) freedom of conscience;
(j) freedom of expression;
(k) freedom of peaceful assembly;
(l) freedom of association;
(m) freedom from arbitrary seizure of property;
(n) freedom from discrimination;
(o) the right to equality before the law and the eq
ual protection of the law; and
(p) the right to participate in government,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect fo
r the purpose of affording protection to those
rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of
that protection as are contained in those
provisions, being limitations designed to ensure th
at the enjoyment of the said rights and
freedoms by any person does not prejudice the right
s and freedoms of others or the public
interest.
(2)
For the avoidance of doubt and without prejudice t
o any other provision of this
Constitution it is hereby declared that the provisi
ons of this Chapter shall, except where the
context otherwise requires, apply as well in relati
on to things done or omitted to be done by
persons acting in a private capacity (whether by vi
rtue of any written law or otherwise) as in
relation to things done or omitted to be done by or
on behalf of the Government of Lesotho or by
any person acting in the performance of the functio
ns of any public office or any public authority.
5. Right to life
(1)
Every human being has an inherent right to life. N
o one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his
life.
(2)
Without prejudice to any liability for a contraven
tion of any other law with respect to the
use of force in such cases as are hereinafter menti
oned, a person shall not be regarded as
having been deprived of his life in contravention o
f this section if he dies as the result of the use
of force to such extent as is necessary in the circ
umstances of the case -
(a) for the defence of any person from violence or
for the defence of property;
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent
the escape of a person lawfully detained;
(c) for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrec
tion or mutiny; or
(d) in order to prevent the commission by that pers
on of a criminal offence,
or if he dies as the result of a lawful act of war
or in execution of the sentence of death imposed
by a court in respect of a criminal offence under t
he law of Lesotho of which he has been
convicted.
6. Right to personal liberty
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to personal liberty
, that is to say, he shall not be arrested
or detained save as may be authorised by law in any
of the following cases, that is to say -
(a) in execution of the sentence or order of a cour
t, whether established for Lesotho or for
some other country, in respect of a criminal offenc
e of which he has been convicted;
(b) in execution of the order of the court punishin
g him for contempt of that court or of a
tribunal;
(c) in execution of the order of a court made to se
cure the fulfilment of any obligation
imposed on him by law;
(d) for the purpose of bringing him before a court
in execution of the order of a court;
(e) upon reasonable suspicion of his having committ
ed, or being about to commit, a criminal
offence under the law of Lesotho;
(f) in the case of a person who has not attained th
e age of eighteen years, for the purpose of
his education or welfare;
(g) for the purpose of preventing the spread of an
infectious or contagious disease;
(h) in the case of a person who is, or is reasonabl
y suspected to be, of unsound mind,
addicted to drugs or alcohol, or a vagrant, for the
purpose of his care and treatment or
the protection of the community;
(i) for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entr
y of that person into Lesotho, or for the
purpose of effecting the expulsion, extradition or
other lawful removal of that person from
Lesotho or for the purpose of restricting that pers
on while he is being conveyed through
Lesotho in the course of his extradition or removal
as a convicted prisoner from one
country to another; or
(j) to such extent as may be necessary in the execu
tion of a lawful order requiring that
person to remain within a specified area within Les
otho or prohibiting him from being
within such an area, or to such extent as may be re
asonably justifiable for the taking of
proceedings against that person with a view to the
making of any such order or relating to
such an order after it has been made, or to such ex
tent as may be reasonably justifiable
for restraining that person during any visit that h
e is permitted to make to any part of
Lesotho in which, in consequence of any such order,
his presence would otherwise be
unlawful.
(2)
Any person who is arrested or detained shall be in
formed as soon as is reasonably
practicable, in a language that he understands, of
the reasons for his arrest or detention.
(3)
Any person who is arrested or detained –
(a) for the purpose of bringing him before a court
in execution of the order of a court; or
(b) upon reasonable suspicion of his having committ
ed, or being about to commit, a criminal
offence,
and who is not released, shall be brought before a
court as soon as is reasonably practicable,
and where he is not brought before a court within f
orty-eight hours of his arrest or from the
commencement of his detention, the burden of provin
g that he has been brought before a court
as soon as is reasonably practicable shall rest upo
n any person alleging that the provisions of this
subsection have been complied with.
(4)
Where any person is brought before a court in exec
ution of the order of a court in any
proceedings or upon suspicion of his having committ
ed or being about to commit an offence, he
shall not be thereafter further held in custody in
connection with those proceedings or that offence
save upon the order of a court.
(5)
If any person arrested or detained upon suspicion
of his having committed, or being able
to commit, a criminal offence is not tried within a
reasonable time, then, without prejudice to any
further proceedings that may be brought against him
, he shall be released either unconditionally
or upon reasonable conditions, including in particu
lar such conditions as are reasonably
necessary to ensure that he appears at a later date
for trial or for proceedings preliminary to trial.
(6)
Without prejudice to the generality of any other p
rovision of this Constitution or any other
law by virtue of which a person is entitled to redr
ess for a contravention of this section, any
person shall be entitled to compensation from that
other person or from any other person or
authority on whose behalf that other person was act
ing.
7. Freedom of movement
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to freedom of movem
ent, that is to say, the right to move
freely throughout Lesotho, the right to reside in a
ny part of Lesotho, the right to enter Lesotho, the
right to leave Lesotho and immunity from expulsion
from Lesotho.
(2)
Any restriction on a person's freedom of movement
that is involved in his lawful detention
shall not be held to be inconsistent with or in con
travention of this section.
(3)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) for the imposition of restrictions in the inter
est of defence, public safety, public order, public
morality or public health on the movement of reside
nce within Lesotho of any person or any
person's right to leave Lesotho:
Provided that a person shall not be permitted to re
ly in any judicial proceedings upon such a
provision of law as is referred to in this paragrap
h except to the extent to which he satisfies the
court that the provision or, as the case may be, th
e thing done under the authority thereof does
not restrict the movement or residence within Lesot
ho or the right to leave Lesotho of the person
concerned to a greater extent than is necessary in
a practical sense in a democratic society in the
interests of any of the matters specified in this p
aragraph;
(b) for the imposition of restrictions, by order of
a court, on the movement or residence within
Lesotho of any person or on any person's right to l
eave Lesotho either in consequence of
his having been convicted of a criminal offence und
er the law of Lesotho or for the purpose
or ensuring that he appears before a court at a lat
er date for trial in respect of such a
criminal offence or for proceedings preliminary to
trial or for proceedings relating to his
extradition or lawful removal from Lesotho;
(c) for the prohibition from entry into Lesotho of
a person who is not a citizen of Lesotho;
(d) for the imposition of restrictions on the freed
om of movement of any person who is not a
citizen of Lesotho;
(e) for the imposition of restrictions on the acqui
sition or use by any person of land or other
property in Lesotho;
(f) for the imposition of restrictions upon the mov
ement or residence within Lesotho or on the
right to leave Lesotho of any public officer;
(g) for the removal of a person from Lesotho to be
tried or punished in some other country for a
criminal offence under the law of that other countr
y or to undergo imprisonment in some
other country in execution of the sentence of a cou
rt in respect of a criminal offence of
which he has been convicted under the law of Lesoth
o; or
(h) for the imposition of restrictions on the right
of any person to leave Lesotho that are
necessary in a practical sense in a democratic soci
ety in order to secure the fulfilment of
any obligations imposed on that person by law.
(4)
If any person whose freedom of movement has been r
estricted by virtue of such a
provision as is referred to in subsection (3)(a) so
requests at any time during the period of that
restriction not earlier than one month after the or
der was made or three months after he last
made such a request, as the case may be, his case s
hall be investigated by an independent and
impartial tribunal presided over by a person appoin
ted by the Chief Justice:
Provided that a person whose freedom of movement ha
s been restricted by virtue of a restriction
that is applicable to persons generally or to gener
al classes of persons shall not make a request
under this subsection unless he has first obtained
the consent of the High Court.
(5)
On any investigation by a tribunal in pursuance of
subsection (4) of this section of the
case of any person whose freedom of movement has be
en restricted, the tribunal may make
recommendations concerning the necessity or expedie
ncy of continuing that restriction to the
authority by whom it was ordered and, unless it is
otherwise provided by law, that authority shall
be obliged to act in accordance with any such recom
mendation.
(6)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
r any provision of the customary law of
Lesotho shall be held to be inconsistent with or in
contravention of this section to the extent that
that provision authorises the imposition of restric
tions upon any person's freedom to reside in any
part of Lesotho.
8. Freedom from inhuman treatment
(1)
No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhu
man or degrading punishment or other
treatment.
(2)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question
authorises the infliction of any description of pun
ishment that was lawful in Lesotho immediately
before the coming into operation of this Constituti
on.
9. Freedom from slavery and forced labour
(1)
No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2)
No person shall be required to perform forced labo
ur.
(3)
For the purposes of this section, the expression "
forced labour" does not include -
(a) any labour required in consequence of the sente
nce or order of a court;
(b) any labour required of any person while he is l
awfully detained that, though not required in
consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is
reasonably required in the interests of
hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at whic
h he is detained;
(c) any labour required of a member of a discipline
d force in pursuance of his duties as such or,
in the case of a person who has conscientious objec
tions to service as a member of a
military or air force, any labour that that person
is required by law to perform in place of such
service;
(d) any labour required during any period when Leso
tho is at war or a declaration of emergency
under section 23 of this Constitution is in force o
r in the event of any other emergency or
calamity that threatens the life or well-being of t
he community, to the extent that the
requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable,
in the circumstances of any situation
arising or existing during that period or as a resu
lt of that other emergency or calamity, for
the purpose of dealing with that situation; or
(e) any labour reasonably required by law as part o
f reasonable and normal community or other
civic obligations.
10. Freedom from arbitrary search or entry
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to freedom from arb
itrary search or entry, that is to say, he
shall not (except with his own consent) be subjecte
d to the search of his person or his property or
the entry by others on his premises.
(2)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, pub
lic order, public morality, public health, town
and country planning, the development or utilisatio
n of mineral resources or the
development or utilisation of any other property in
such a manner as to promote the public
benefit;
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights or free
doms of other persons;
(c) that authorises an officer or agent of the Gove
rnment of Lesotho or of a local government
authority or of a body corporate established by law
for public purposes to enter on the
premises of any person for the purpose of inspectin
g those premises or anything thereon in
connection with any tax, rate or due or for the pur
pose of carrying out work connected with
any property that is lawfully on those premises and
that belongs to that government,
authority or body corporate, as the case may be; or
(d) that authorises, for the purpose of enforcing t
he judgment or order of a court in any civil
proceedings, the entry upon any premises by order o
f a court.
(3)
A person shall not be permitted to rely on any jud
icial proceedings upon such a provision
of law as is referred to in subsection (2) except t
o the extent to which he satisfies the court that
that provision or, as the case may be, the thing do
ne under the authority thereof does not abridge
the freedom guaranteed by subsection (1) to a great
er extent than is necessary in a practical
sense in a democratic society in the interests of a
ny of the matters specified in subsection (2)(a)
or for any of the purposes specified in subsection
(2)(b), (c) or (d).
11. Right to respect for private and family life
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to respect for his
private and family life and his home.
(2)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, pub
lic order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and fr
eedoms of other persons.
(3)
A person shall not be permitted to rely on any jud
icial proceedings upon such a provision
of law as is referred to in subsection (2) except t
o the extent to which he satisfies the court that
that provision or, as the case may be, the thing do
ne under the authority thereof does not abridge
the right guaranteed by subsection (1) to a greater
extent than is necessary in a practical sense in
a democratic society in the interests of any of the
matters specified in subsection (2)(a) or for the
purpose specified in subsection 2(b).
12. Right to a fair trial, etc
(1)
If any person is charged with a criminal offence,
then unless the charge is withdrawn, the
case shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reas
onable time by an independent and impartial
court established by law.
(2)
Every person who is charged with a criminal offenc
e -
(a) shall be presumed to be innocent until he is pr
oved or has pleaded guilty;
(b) shall be informed as soon as reasonably practic
able, in a language that he understands and
in adequate detail, of the nature of the offence ch
arged;
(c) shall be given adequate time and facilities for
the preparation of his defence;
(d) shall be permitted to defend himself before the
court in person or by a legal representative
of his own choice;
(e) shall be afforded facilities to examine in pers
on or by his legal representative the witnesses
called by the prosecution before the court and to o
btain the attendance and carry out the
examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf b
efore the court on the same conditions as
those applying to witnesses called by the prosecuti
on; and
(f) shall be permitted to have without payment the
assistance of an interpreter if he cannot
understand the language used at the trial of the ch
arge,
and except with his own consent the trial shall not
take place in his absence unless he so
conducts himself as to render the continuance of th
e proceedings in his presence impracticable
and the court has ordered him to be removed and the
trial to proceed in his absence.
(3)
When a person is tried for any criminal offence, t
he accused person or any person
authorised by him in that behalf shall, if he so re
quires and subject to payment of such
reasonable fee as may be prescribed by law, be give
n within a reasonable time after judgment a
copy for the use of the accused person of any recor
d of the proceedings made by or on behalf of
the court.
(4)
No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal
offence on account of any act or
omission that did not, at the time it took place, c
onstitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be
imposed for a criminal offence that is severer in d
egree or description than the maximum penalty
that might have been imposed for that offence at th
e time when it was committed.
(5)
No person who shows that he has been tried by a co
mpetent court for a criminal offence
and either convicted or acquitted shall be tried ag
ain for that offence or for any other criminal
offence of which he could have been convicted at th
e trial for that offence, save upon the order of
a superior court in the course of appeal or review
proceedings relating to the conviction or
acquittal.
(6)
No person shall be tried for a criminal offence if
he shows that he has been pardoned for
that offence.
(7)
No person who is tried for a criminal offence shal
l be compelled to give evidence at the
trial.
(8)
Any court or other adjudicating authority prescrib
ed by law for the determination of the
existence or extent of any civil right or obligatio
n shall be established by law and shall be
independent and impartial; and where proceedings fo
r such a determination are instituted by any
person before such a court or other adjudicating au
thority, the case shall be given a fair hearing
within a reasonable time.
(9)
Except with the agreement of all parties thereto,
all proceedings of every court and
proceedings for the determination of the existence
or extent of any civil right or obligation before
any other adjudicating authority, including the ann
ouncement of the decision of the court or other
authority, shall be held in public.
(10)
Nothing in subsection (9) shall prevent the court
or other adjudicating authority from
excluding from the proceedings persons other than t
he parties thereto and their legal
representatives to such extent as the court or othe
r authority -
(a) may by law be empowered to do and may consider
necessary or expedient in
circumstances where publicity would prejudice the i
nterests of justice or in interlocutory
proceedings or in the interests of public morality,
the welfare of persons under the age of
eighteen years or the protection of the private liv
es of persons concerned in the
proceedings; or
(b) may by law be empowered or required to do in th
e interests of defence, public safety or
public order.
(11)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of -
(a) subsection (2)(a) to the extent that the law in
question imposes upon any person charged
with a criminal offence the burden of proving parti
cular facts;
(b) subsection (2)(e) to the extent that the law in
question imposes conditions that must be
satisfied if witnesses called to testify on behalf
of accused persons are to be paid their
expenses out of public funds; or
(c) subsection (5) to the extent that the law in qu
estion authorises a court to try a member of a
disciplined force for a criminal offence notwithsta
nding any trial and conviction or acquittal of
that member under the disciplinary law of that forc
e, so, however, that any court so trying
such a member and convicting him shall in sentencin
g him to any punishment take into
account any punishment awarded him under that disci
plinary law.
(12)
In the case of any person who is held in lawful de
tention the provisions of subsection (1),
subsections (2)(d) and (e) and subsection (3) shall
not apply in relation to his trial for a criminal
offence under the law regulating the discipline of
persons held in such detention.
(13)
Nothing contained in subsection (2)(d) shall be co
nstrued as entitling a person to legal
representation at public expense.
(14)
In this section "criminal offence" means a crimina
l offence under the law of Lesotho.
13. Freedom of conscience
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to, and (except wit
h his own consent) shall not be hindered
in his enjoyment of, freedom of conscience, includi
ng freedom of thought and of religion, freedom
to change his religion or belief and freedom, eithe
r alone or in community with others, and both in
public and in private, to manifest and propagate hi
s religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice
and observance.
(2)
Every religious community shall be entitled, at it
s own expense, to establish and maintain
places of education and to manage any place of educ
ation which it wholly maintains; and no such
community shall be prevented from providing religio
us instruction for persons of that community
in the course of any education provided at any plac
es of education which it wholly maintains or in
the course of any education which it otherwise prov
ides.
(3)
Except with his own consent (or, if he is a minor,
the consent of his guardian), no person
attending any place of education shall be required
to receive religious instruction or to take part in
or attend any religious ceremony or observance if t
hat instruction, ceremony or observance
relates to a religion other than his own.
(4)
No person shall be compelled to take any oath whic
h is contrary to his religion or belief or
to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to h
is religion or belief.
(5)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, pub
lic order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and fr
eedoms of other persons, including the right to
observe and practice any religion without the unsol
icited intervention of members of any
other religion.
(6)
A person shall not be permitted to rely in any jud
icial proceedings upon such a provision
of law as is referred to in subsection (5) except t
o the extent to which he satisfies the court that
that provision or, as the case may be, the thing do
ne under the authority thereof does not abridge
the rights and freedoms guaranteed by this section
to a greater extent than is necessary in a
practical sense in a democratic society in the inte
rests of any of the matters specified in
subsection (5)(a) or for the purpose specified in s
ubsection (5)(b).
(7)
Reference in this section to a religion shall be c
onstrued as including references to a
religious denomination, and cognate expressions sha
ll be construed accordingly.
14. Freedom of expression
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to, and (except wit
h his own consent) shall not be hindered
in his enjoyment of, freedom of expression, includi
ng freedom to hold opinions without
interference, freedom to receive ideas and informat
ion without interference, freedom to
communicate ideas and information without interfere
nce (whether the communication be to the
public generally or to any person or class of perso
ns) and freedom from interference with his
correspondence.
(2)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, pub
lic order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the reputations,
rights and freedoms of other persons or the
private lives of persons concerned in legal proceed
ings, preventing the disclosure of
information received in confidence, maintaining the
authority and independence of the
courts, or regulating the technical administration
or the technical operation of telephony,
telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting or televis
ion; or
(c) for the purpose of imposing restrictions upon p
ublic offenders.
(3)
A person shall not be permitted to rely in any jud
icial proceedings upon such a provision
of law as is referred to in subsection (2) except t
o the extent to which he satisfies the court that
that provision or, as the case may be, the thing do
ne under the authority thereof does not abridge
the freedom guaranteed by subsection (1) to a great
er extent than is necessary in a practical
sense in a democratic society in the interests of a
ny of the matters specified in subsection (2)(a)
or for any of the purposes specified in subsection
2(b) or (c).
(4)
Any person who feels aggrieved by statements or id
eas disseminated to the public in
general by a medium of communication has the right
to reply or to require a correction to be
made using the same medium, under such conditions a
s the law may establish.
15. Freedom of peaceful assembly
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to, and (except wit
h his own consent) shall not be hindered
in his enjoyment of freedom of peaceful assembly, w
ithout arms, that is to say, freedom to
assemble with other persons.
(2)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of this secti
on to the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, pub
lic order, public morality or public health;
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and fre
edoms of other persons; or
(c) for the purpose of imposing restrictions upon p
ublic officers.
(3)
A person shall not be permitted to rely in any jud
icial proceedings upon such a provision
of law as is referred to in subsection (2) except t
o the extent to which he satisfies the court that
that provision or, as the case may be, the thing do
ne under the authority thereof does not abridge
the rights and freedoms guaranteed by subsection (1
) to a greater extent than is necessary in a
practical sense in a democratic society in the inte
rests of any of the matters specified in
subsection (2)(a) or for any of the purposes specif
ied in subsection (2)(b) or (c).
16. Freedom of association
(1)
Every person shall be entitled to, and (except wit
h his own consent) shall not be hindered
in his enjoyment of freedom to associate freely wit
h other persons for ideological, religious,
political, economic, labour, social, cultural, recr
eational and similar purposes.
(2)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of any law to
the extent that the law in question makes
provision -
(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, pub
lic order, public morality or public health;
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and fr
eedoms of other persons; or
(c) for the purpose of imposing restrictions upon p
ublic officers.
(3)
A person shall not be permitted to rely in any jud
icial proceedings upon such a provision
of law as is referred to in subsection (2) except t
o the extent to which he satisfies the court that
that provision or, as the case may be, the thing do
ne under the authority thereof does not abridge
the rights and freedoms guaranteed by subsection (1
) to a greater extent than is necessary in a
practical sense in a democratic society in the inte
rests of any of the matters specified in
subsection (2)(a) or for any of the purposes specif
ied in subsection (2)(b) or (c).
17. Freedom from arbitrary seizure of property
(1)
No property, movable or immovable, shall be taken
possession of compulsorily, and no
interest in or right over any such property shall b
e compulsorily acquired, except where the
following conditions are satisfied, that is to say
-
(a) the taking of possession or acquisition is nece
ssary in the interests of defence, public
safety, public order, public morality, public healt
h, town and country planning or the
development or utilisation of any property in such
manner as to promote the public benefit;
and
(b) the necessity therefor is such as to afford rea
sonable justification for the causing of any
hardship that may result to any person having an in
terest in or right over the property; and
(c) provision is made by a law applicable to that t
aking of possession or acquisition for the
prompt payment of full compensation.
(2)
Every person having an interest in or right over p
roperty which is compulsorily taken
possession of or whose interest in or right over an
y property is compulsorily acquired shall have a
right of direct access to the High Court for -
(a) the determination of his interest or right, the
legality of the taking of possession or
acquisition of the property, interest or right and
the amount of any compensation to which he
is entitled; and
(b) the purpose of obtaining prompt payment of that
compensation:
Provided that if Parliament so provides in relation
to any matter referred to in paragraph (a) the
right of access shall be by way of appeal (exercisa
ble as of right at the instance of the person
having the interest in or right over the property)
from a tribunal or authority, other than the High
Court, having jurisdiction under any law to determi
ne that matter.
(3)
The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to t
he practice and procedure of the High
Court or any other tribunal or authority in relatio
n to the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court
by subsection (2) or exercisable by the other tribu
nal or authority for the purposes of that
subsection (including rules with respect to the tim
e within which applications or appeals to the
High Court or applications to the other tribunal or
authority may be brought).
(4)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any law shall be held to be
inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection
(1) or (2) -
(a) to the extent that the law in question makes pr
ovision that is necessary in a practical sense
in a democratic society for the taking of possessio
n or acquisition of any property, interest or
right -
(i) in satisfaction of any tax, duty, rate, or othe
r impost;
(ii) by way of penalty for breach of the law, wheth
er under civil process or after conviction
of a criminal offence under the law of Lesotho;
(iii) as an incident of a valid contract or of the
terms and conditions of service of a public
officer;
(iv) in the execution of judgments or orders of a c
ourt in proceedings for the determination
of civil rights or obligations;
(v) in circumstances where it is reasonably necessa
ry to do so because the property is in
a dangerous state or injurious to the health of hum
an beings, animals or plants;
(vi) in consequence of any law with respect to pres
cription or limitation of actions;
(vii) for so long only as may be necessary for the
purposes of any examination,
investigation, trial or inquiry or, in the case of
land, for the purpose of carrying out
thereon of work of soil conservation or the conserv
ation of other natural resources or
work relating to agricultural development or improv
ement (being work relating to such
development or improvement that the occupier of the
land has been required, and has
without reasonable excuse refused or failed, to car
ry out); or
(viii) in satisfaction of the right conferred under
section 14(4); or
(b) to the extent that the law in question makes pr
ovision for the taking of possession or
acquisition of the following property (including an
interest in or right over property), that is to
say -
(i) enemy property;
(ii) property of a deceased person, a person of uns
ound mind or a person who has not
attained the age of twenty-one years, for the purpo
se of its administration for the
benefit of the persons entitled to the beneficial i
nterest therein;
(iii) property of a person adjudged insolvent or a
body corporate in liquidation, for the
purpose of its administration for the benefit of th
e creditors of the insolvent or body
corporate and, subject thereto, for the benefit of
other persons entitled to the beneficial
interest in the property; or
(iv) property subject to a trust, for the purpose o
f vesting the property in persons appointed
as trustees under the instrument creating the trust
or by a court or, by order of a court,
for the purpose of giving effect to the trust.
(5)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f any Act of Parliament shall be held to
be inconsistent with or in contravention of this se
ction to the extent that the Act in question makes
provision for the compulsory taking possession of a
ny property or the compulsory acquisition of
any interest in or right over property where that p
roperty, interest or right is vested in a body
corporate established by law for public purposes, i
n which no moneys have been invested other
than moneys provided by Parliament.
18. Freedom from discrimination
(1)
Subject to the provisions of subsections (4) and (
5) no law shall make any provision that
is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect
.
(2)
Subject to the provisions of subsection (6), no pe
rson shall be treated in a discriminatory
manner by any person acting by virtue of any writte
n law or in the performance of the functions of
any public office or any public authority.
(3)
In this section, the expression "discriminatory" m
eans affording different treatment to
different persons attributable wholly or mainly to
their respective descriptions by race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, nat
ional or social origin, property, birth or other st
atus
whereby persons of one such description are subject
ed to disabilities or restrictions to which
persons of another such description are not made su
bject or are accorded privileges or
advantages which are not accorded to persons of ano
ther such description.
(4)
Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law to the e
xtent that that law makes provision -
(a) with respect to persons who are not citizens of
Lesotho; or
(b) for the application, in the case of persons of
any such description as is mentioned in
subsection (3)(or of persons connected with such pe
rsons), of the law with respect to
adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of
property on death or other like matters
which is the personal law of persons of that descri
ption; or
(c) for the application of the customary law of Les
otho with respect to any matter in the case of
persons who, under that law, are subject to that la
w; or
(d) for the appropriation of public revenues or othe
r public funds; or
(e) whereby persons of any such description as is m
entioned in subsection (3) may be made
subject to any disability or restriction or may be
accorded any privilege or advantage which,
having regard to its nature and to special circumst
ances pertaining to those or to persons of
any other such description, is reasonably justifiab
le in a democratic society.
Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the making
of laws in pursuance of the principle of state
policy of promoting a society based on equality and
justice for all the citizens of Lesotho and
thereby removing any discriminatory law.
(5)
Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be i
nconsistent with or in contravention of
subsection (1) to the extent that it makes provisio
n with respect to standards of qualifications (not
being standard of qualifications specifically relat
ing to race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social orig
in, property, birth or other status) to be required
of
any person who is appointed to any office in the pu
blic service, any office in a disciplined force,
any office in the service of a local government aut
hority or any office in a body corporate
established by law for public purposes.
(6)
Subsection (2) shall not apply to anything which i
s expressly or by necessary implication
authorised to be done by any such provision of law
as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5).
(7)
No person shall be treated in a discriminatory man
ner in respect of access to shops,
hotels, lodging houses, public restaurants, eating
houses, beer halls or places of public
entertainment or in respect of access to places of
public resort maintained wholly or partly out of
public funds or dedicated to the use of the general
public.
(8)
The provisions of this section shall be without pr
ejudice to the generality of section 19 of
this Constitution.
19. Right to equality before the law and the equal
protection of the law
Every person shall be entitled to equality before t
he law and to the equal protection of the law.
20. Right to participate in government
(1)
Every citizen of Lesotho shall enjoy the right –
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs,
directly or through freely chosen representatives;
(b) to vote to stand for election at periodic elect
ions under this Constitution under a system of
universal and equal suffrage and secret ballot;
(c) to have access, on general terms of equality, t
o the public service.
(2)
The rights referred to in subsection (1) shall be
subject to the other provisions of this
Constitution.
21. Derogation from fundamental human rights and fr
eedoms
(1)
Nothing contained in or done under the authority o
f an Act of Parliament shall be held to
be inconsistent with or in contravention of section
6, section 18 or section 19 of this Constitution
to the extent that the Act authorises the taking du
ring any period when Lesotho is at war or when
a declaration of emergency under section 23 of this
Constitution is in force of measures that are
necessary in a practical sense in a democratic soci
ety for dealing with the situation that exists in
Lesotho during that period.
(2)
When a person is detained by virtue of any such la
w as is referred to in subsection (1)
the following provisions shall apply, that is to sa
y -
(a) he shall, as soon as reasonably practicable aft
er the commencement of his detention, be
furnished with a statement in writing in a language
that he understands specifying in detail
the grounds upon which he is detained;
(b) not more than fourteen days after the commencem
ent of his detention, a notification shall
be published in the
Gazette
stating that he has been detained and giving parti
culars of the
provision of law under which his detention is autho
rised;
(c) not more than one month after the commencement
of his detention and thereafter during his
detention at intervals of not more than six months,
his case shall be investigated by an
independent and impartial tribunal established by l
aw and presided over by a person
appointed by the Chief Justice;
(d) he shall be afforded reasonable facilities to c
onsult a legal representative of his own choice
who shall be permitted to appear in make representa
tions to the tribunal appointed for the
investigation of the case of the detained person; a
nd
(e) at the hearing of his case by the tribunal appo
inted for the investigation of his case he shall
be permitted to appear in person or by a legal repr
esentative of his own choice.
(3)
On any investigation by a tribunal in pursuance of
this section of the case of a detained
person, the tribunal may make recommendations conce
rning the necessity or expediency of
continuing his detention to the authority by which
it was ordered but, unless it is otherwise
provided by law, that authority shall not be oblige
d to act in accordance with any such
recommendations.
(4)
Nothing contained in subsection (2)(d) or (e) shal
l be construed as entitling a person to
legal representation at public expense.
22. Enforcement of protective provisions
(1)
If any person alleges that any of the provisions o
f sections 4 to 21 (inclusive) of this
Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be
contravened in relation to him (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 oth
er action with respect to the same matter
which is lawfully available, that person (or that o
ther person) may apply to the High Court for
redress.
(2)
The High Court shall have original jurisdiction -
(a) to hear and determine any application made by a
ny person in pursuance of subsection (1);
and
(b) to determine any question arising in the case o
f any person which is referred to it in
pursuance of subsection (3).
and may make such orders, issue such process and gi
ve such directions as it may consider
appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securin
g the enforcement of any of the provisions of
sections 4 to 21 (inclusive) of this Constitution:
Provided that the High Court may decline to exercis
e its powers under this subsection if it is
satisfied that adequate means of redress for the co
ntravention alleged are or have been available
to the person concerned under any other law.
(3)
If in any proceedings in any subordinate court any
question arises as to the contravention
of any of the provisions of sections 4 to 21 (inclu
sive) of this Constitution, the person presiding in
that court may, and shall if any party to the proce
edings so requests, refer the question to the
High Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of t
he question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4)
Where any question is referred to the High Court i
n pursuance of subsection (3), the High
Court shall give its decision upon the question and
the court in which the question arose shall
dispose of the case in accordance with that decisio
n or, if that decision is the subject of an appeal
under section 129 of this Constitution to the Court
of Appeal, in accordance with the decision of
the Court of Appeal.
(5)
Parliament may confer upon the High Court such pow
ers in addition to those conferred
by this section as may appear to be necessary or de
sirable for the purposes of enabling that court
more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction confe
rred upon it by this section.
(6)
The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to t
he practice and procedure of the High
Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers co
nferred on it by or under this section (including
rules with respect to the time within which applica
tions may be brought and references shall be
made to the High Court).
23. Declaration of emergency
(1)
In time of war or other public emergency which thr
eatens the life of the nation, the Prime
Minister may, acting in accordance with the advice
of the Council of State, by proclamation which
shall be published in the
Gazette
, declare that a state of emergency exists for the
purposes of this
Chapter.
(2)
Every declaration of emergency shall lapse at the
expiration of fourteen days,
commencing with the day on which it was made, unles
s it has in the meantime been approved by
a resolution of each House of Parliament.
(3)
A declaration of emergency may at any time be revo
ked by the Prime Minister acting in
accordance with the advice of the Council of State,
by proclamation which shall be published in
the
Gazette
.
(4)
A declaration of emergency that has been approved
by a resolution of each House of
Parliament in pursuance of subsection (2) shall, su
bject to the provisions of subsection (3),
remain in force so long as those resolutions remain
in force and no longer.
(5)
A resolution of either House of Parliament passed
for the purposes of this section shall
remain in force for six months or such shorter peri
od as may be specified therein:
Provided that any such resolution may be extended f
rom time to time by a further such resolution,
each extension not exceeding six months from the da
te of the resolution effecting the extension.
(6)
Where the resolutions of the two Houses of Parliam
ent made under subsection (2) or (5)
differ, the resolution of the National Assembly sha
ll prevail.
(7)
Any provision of this section that a declaration o
f emergency shall lapse or cease to be in
force at any particular time is without prejudice t
o the making of a further such declaration
whether before or after that time.
(8)
The King may summon the two Houses of Parliament t
o meet for the purposes of this
section notwithstanding that Parliament then stands
dissolved, and the persons who were
members of either House immediately before the diss
olution shall be deemed, for those
purposes, still to be members of that House, but, s
ubject to the provisions of sections 61(4) and
63(4) of this Constitution, neither House shall, wh
en summoned by virtue of this subsection,
transact any business other than debating and votin
g upon resolutions for the purposes of this
section.
...
CHAPTER III: PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
25. Application of the principles of state policy
The principles contained in this Chapter shall form
part of the public policy of Lesotho. These
principles shall not be enforceable by any court bu
t, subject to the limits of the economic capacity
and development of Lesotho, shall guide the authori
ties and agencies of Lesotho, and other
public authorities, in the performance of their fun
ctions with a view to achieving progressively, by
legislation or otherwise, the full realisation of t
hese principles.
26. Equality and justice
(1)
Lesotho shall adopt policies aimed at promoting a
society based on equality and justice
for all its citizens regardless of race, colour, se
x, language, religion, political or other opinion,
national or social origin, property, birth or other
status.
(2)
In particular, the state shall take appropriate me
asures in order to promote equality of
opportunity for the disadvantaged groups in the soc
iety to enable them to participate fully in all
spheres of public life.
27. Protection of health
(1)
Lesotho shall adopt policies aimed at ensuring the
highest attainable standard of physical
and mental health for its citizens, including polic
ies designed to -
(a) provide for the reduction of stillbirth rate an
d of infant mortality and for the healthy
development of the child;
(b) improve environmental and industrial hygiene;
(c) provide for the prevention, treatment and contr
ol of epidemic, endemic, occupational and
other diseases;
(d) create conditions which would assure to all, me
dical service and medical attention in the
event of sickness; and
(e) improve public health.
[there is no section 27(2) – ed]
28. Provision for education
Lesotho shall endeavour to make education available
to all and shall adopt policies aimed at
securing that –
(a) education is directed to the full development o
f the human personality and sense of dignity
and strengthening the respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms;
(b) primary education is compulsory and available t
o all;
(c) secondary education, including technical and vo
cational education, is made generally
available and accessible to all by every appropriat
e means, and in particular, by the
progressive introduction of free education;
(d) higher education is made equally accessible to
all, on the basis of capacity, by every
appropriate means, and in particular, by the progre
ssive introduction of free education; and
(e) fundamental education is encouraged or intensif
ied as far as possible for those persons
who have not received or completed their primary ed
ucation.
29. Opportunity to work
(1)
Lesotho shall endeavour to ensure that every perso
n has the opportunity to gain his living
by work which he freely chooses or accepts.
(2)
Lesotho shall adopt policies aimed at -
(a) achieving and maintaining as high and stable a
level of employment as possible;
(b) providing technical and vocational guidance and
training programmes; and
(c) achieving steady economic, social and cultural
development and full and productive
employment under conditions safeguarding fundamenta
l political and economic freedoms to
the individual.
30. Just and favourable conditions of work
Lesotho shall adopt policies aimed at securing just
and favourable conditions of work and in
particular policies directed to achieving -
(a) remuneration which provides all workers, as a m
inimum with -
(i) fair wages and equal remuneration for work of e
qual value without distinction of any
kind, and in particular, women being guaranteed con
ditions of work, including pension
or retirement benefits, not inferior to those enjoy
ed by men, with equal pay for equal
work; and
(ii) a decent living for themselves and their famil
ies;
(b) safe and healthy working conditions;
(c) equal opportunity for men and women to be promo
ted in their employment to an appropriate
higher level, subject to no considerations other th
an those of seniority and competence;
(d) the protection of women who are in employment d
uring a reasonable period before and
after childbirth; and
(e) rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of work
ing hours and periodic holidays with pay, as
well as remuneration for public holidays.
31. Protection of workers' rights and interests
Lesotho shall take appropriate steps in order to en
courage the formation of independent trade
unions to protect workers' rights and interests and
to promote sound labour relations and fair
employment practices.
32. Protection of children and young persons
Lesotho shall adopt policies designed to provide th
at -
(a) protection and assistance is given to all child
ren and young persons without any
discrimination for reasons of parentage or other co
nditions;
(b) children and young persons are protected from e
conomic and social exploitation;
(c) the employment of children and young persons in
work harmful to their morals or health or
dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal
development is punishable by law; and
(d) there are age limits below which the paid emplo
yment of children and young persons is
prohibited and punishable by law.
33. Rehabilitation, training and social resettlemen
t of disabled persons
With a view to ensuring the rehabilitation, trainin
g and social resettlement of disabled persons,
Lesotho shall adopt policies designed to -
(a) provide for training facilities, including spec
ialised institutions, public or private; and
(b) place disabled persons in employment and encour
age employers to admit disabled persons
to employment.
34. Economic opportunities
Lesotho shall adopt policies which encourage its ci
tizens to acquire property including land,
houses, tools and equipment; and shall take such ot
her economic measures as the state shall
consider affordable.
35. Participation in cultural activities
(1)
Lesotho shall endeavour to ensure that every citiz
en has an opportunity to freely
participate in the cultural life of the community a
nd to share in the benefits of scientific
advancement and its application.
(2)
Lesotho shall adopt policies designed to protect t
he interests of any citizen in any
scientific, literary or artistic production of which
he is the author.
36. Protection of the environment
Lesotho shall adopt policies designed to protect an
d enhance the natural and cultural
environment of Lesotho for the benefit of both pres
ent and future generations and shall
endeavour to assure to all citizens a sound and saf
e environment adequate for their health and
well-being.
...
CHAPTER V: THE KING
44. The Office of King
(1)
There shall be a King of Lesotho who shall be a co
nstitutional monarch and Head of
State.
(2)
The King shall do all things that belong to his of
fice in accordance with the provisions of
this Constitution and of all other laws for the tim
e being in force and shall faithfully comply with
the terms of the oath of the office of King set out
in Schedule I to this Constitution.
...
50. Protection of the King and of certain persons i
n respect of legal proceedings
(1)
Whilst any person holds the office of King, he sha
ll be entitled to immunity from suit and
legal process in any civil cause in respect of all
things done or omitted to be done by him in his
private capacity and to immunity from criminal proc
eedings in respect of all things done or omitted
to be done by him either in his official capacity o
r in his private capacity.
...
CHAPTER VI: PARLIAMENT
PART 1: Composition of Parliament
...
57. Elections to National Assembly
...
(2)
Subject to the provisions of subsections (3) and (
4), every person who -
(a) is a citizen of Lesotho;
(b) has attained the age of eighteen years; and
(c) possesses such qualifications as to residence a
s may be prescribed by Parliament,
shall be qualified to be registered as an elector i
n elections to the National Assembly under a law
in that behalf; and no other person may be so regis
tered.
...
CHAPTER VII: ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION
85. Alteration of Constitution
(1)
Subject to the provisions of this section, Parliam
ent may alter this Constitution.
(2)
A bill for an Act of Parliament under this section
shall not be passed by Parliament unless
it is supported at the final voting in the National
Assembly by the votes of the majority of all the
members of the Assembly and, having been sent to th
e Senate, has become a bill that, apart
from this section, may be presented to the King for
his assent under subsection (80)(1) or (3) as
the case may be, of this Constitution.
(3)
A bill to alter any of the following provisions of
this Constitution, that is to say -
(a) this section, sections 1(1) and (2), Chapter II
except sections 18(4) and 24(3), sections 44 to
48 inclusive, 50(1) to (3), 52, 86, 91(1) to (4), 92
, 95, 103, 104, 107, 108, 118(1) and (2),
119(1) to (3), 120(1), (2), (4) and (5), 121, 123(1
), (3), (4), 125, 128, 129, 132, 133 and
sections 154 and 155 in their application to any of
the provisions mentioned in this
paragraph; and
(b) sections 37, 38, 54 to 60 inclusive; sections 6
6, 67, 68, 69(1) and (6), 70, 74, 75(1), 78(1),
(2), (3) and (4), 80(1), (2), and (3), 82(1), 83 an
d 84; sections 134 to 142 inclusive, 150 and
151 and sections 154 and 155 in their application t
o any of the provisions mentioned in this
paragraph,
shall not be submitted to the King for his assent u
nless the bill, not less than two nor more than
six months after its passage by Parliament, has, in
such manner as may be prescribed by or
under an Act of Parliament, been submitted to the v
ote of the electors qualified to vote in the
election of the members of the National Assembly, a
nd the majority of the electors voting have
approved the bill:
Provided that if the bill does not alter any of the
provisions mentioned in paragraph (a) and is
supported at the final voting in each House of Parl
iament by the votes of not less than two-thirds
of all the members of that House it shall not be ne
cessary to submit the bill to the vote of the
electors.
...
CHAPTER IX: LAND
107. Land vested in Basotho nation
Without prejudice to any allocation of land that wa
s made before the commencement of this
Constitution and was subsisting immediately before
such commencement or to any interests or
rights in or over land that were otherwise vested i
n any person immediately before such
commencement and without prejudice to any allocatio
n of land or any grant of any interest or right
in or over land that may, in accordance with the pr
ovisions of this Constitution and, subject
thereto, of any other law, be made after the commen
cement of this Constitution, all land in
Lesotho is vested in the Basotho nation.
108. Power to allocate land, etc in the King in tru
st for Basotho nation
(1)
The power to allocate land that is vested in the B
asotho nation, to make grants of
interests or rights in or over such land, to revoke
or derogate from any allocation or grant that has
been made or otherwise to terminate or restrict any
interest or right that has been granted is
vested in the King in trust for the Basotho nation.
(2)
The power that is vested in the King by subsection
(1) of this section shall be exercised in
accordance with this Constitution and any other law
.
109. Laws regulating principles on which land may b
e allocated, etc
Parliament may make provision prescribing the alloc
ations that may be made and the interests or
rights that may be granted in exercise of the power
conferred by section 108 of this Constitution,
the grounds upon which and the circumstances in whi
ch such allocations or grants may or shall
be so made or may or shall be revoked or derogated
from or the interests or rights which may or
shall otherwise be so terminated or restricted, app
eals in respect of the allocation or refusal to
allocate land or the revocation of interests to or
in land and, generally, regulating the principles
according to which and the manner in which the said
power shall be exercised.
...
CHAPTER XI: THE JUDICATURE
PART 1: The Judiciary
118. The Judiciary
...
(2)
The courts shall, in the performance of their func
tions under this Constitution or any other
law, be independent and free from interference and
subject only to this Constitution and any other
law.
(3)
The government shall accord such assistance as the
courts may require to enable them
to protect their independence, dignity and effectiv
eness, subject to this Constitution and any other
law.
PART 2: The High Court
...
121. Tenure of the office of Chief Justice and othe
r judges of High Court
...
(3)
The Chief Justice and any other judge of the High
Court may be removed from office only
for inability to perform the functions of his offic
e (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind o
r
any other cause) or for misbehaviour and shall not
be so removed except in accordance with the
provisions of this section.
...
CHAPTER XII: THE OMBUDSMAN
134. The Ombudsman
(1)
There shall be an Ombudsman .

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Monday, April 8, 2013 - 12:00