Lesotho 1993 Constitution (reviewed 2018)

Table of Contents


133A. Establishment of the Human Rights Commission

There is established a Human Rights Commission (in this Chapter referred to as “the Commission”) which shall be independent and free from interference and subject only to this Constitution and any other law.

133B. Composition

The Commission shall consist of the chairman and two other members who shall be appointed by the King acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

133C. Qualification for appointment

A person shall not be qualified to be appointed a member of the Commission if he is a public officer, and the Prime Minister shall not advise the King to appoint a person as a member unless he or she is satisfied that the person –

  1. has extensive experience in human rights and related disciplines;
  2. is of high moral character and integrity and possesses such qualities of mind as to enable him to discharge his duties impartially, fairly and free from bias or prejudice; and
  3. does not take an active part in, or has retired from, the party politics or political party activity.

133D. Tenure of office

Subject to the provisions of this section, the office of a member of the Commission shall become vacant –

  1. at the expiration of seven years, in the case of the chairman and five years in the case of other commissioners, from the date of his appointment; or
  2. if he becomes a public officer; or
  3. if he becomes a member of either House of Parliament, a local authority, a candidate for election to Parliament or a local authority, or an officer of a political party.

133E. Removal from office

  1. A member of the Commission may be removed from office only for inability to exercise the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) incompetence in the performance of the functions of his office or misbehaviour (including failure to discharge his duties in a fair manner free from prejudice) and shall not be removed except in accordance with this section.
  2. A member of the Commission shall be removed from office by the King if the question of his removal from office has been referred to a tribunal appointed under subsection (3) and the tribunal has recommended to the King that he ought to be removed from office for inability, incompetence or misbehaviour.
  3. If the Judicial Service Commission, in the case of either the Chairman of the Commission or any other member, represents to the King that the question of removing a member of the Commission under this section ought to be investigated, then –
    1. the King shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a chairman and not less than two other members, selected by the Prime Minister from among persons who hold or have held high judicial office; and
    2. the tribunal shall enquire into the matter and report on the facts of the enquiry to the King and recommend to him whether the member ought to be removed under this section.
  4. If the question of removing a member of the Commission has been referred to a tribunal under this section, the King, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may suspend that member from the exercise of the functions of his office and any such suspension may, at any time, be revoked by the King, acting in accordance with such advice as Prime Minister and shall in any case cease to have effect in the tribunal recommends to the King that the member should not be removed.

133F. Functions of the Commission

The Commission shall perform the following functions –

  1. monitor the state of human rights throughout Lesotho;
  2. monitor the human rights situation of detainees;
  3. investigate violations of human rights and, if necessary, be responsible for instituting proceedings against such violation in the courts of law;
  4. sensitise the public on its work, the nature and meaning of human rights;
  5. develop and deliver education and training programmes as necessary to the general public;
  6. submit opinions, recommendations, propositions and reports to public institutions on human rights issues, using the media and other means;
  7. advocate for ratification, and recommend the domestication of international and regional human rights instruments;
  8. promote and monitor the harmonisation of national laws and practices with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Lesotho;
  9. develop and maintain working relations with organisations and representatives of civil society in Lesotho;
  10. work in cooperation with the United Nations, regional mechanisms, national human rights institutions of other countries, in the areas of the promotion and protection of human rights, and
  11. undertake any other activities or responsibilities that are consistent with the spirit of the promotion and protection of human rights.

133G. Assistance to the Commission

The Government shall accord such assistance as the Commission may require to enable it to protect its independence, dignity and effectiveness, subject to this Constitution and any other law.

133H. Annual report of the Commission

  1. The Commission shall prepare, submit and present an annual report of its activities to Parliament.
  2. If it considers it necessary, in case of an urgent and specific issue, the Commission may submit a special report to Parliament at any time, which will be treated by Parliament in the same manner as an annual report.”