Sierra Leone 1991 Constitution (reinstated 1996, reviewed 2013)

Table of Contents


1. Declaration of Republic

Sierra Leone is a Sovereign Republic, the boundaries of which are delimited in the First Schedule hereto.

2. Public Seal

The Public Seal of the Republic shall be such a device as Parliament shall prescribe.

3. The National Flag and National Anthem

    1. The Flag of which the design is described in paragraph (b) hereof is hereby declared to be the National Flag of Sierra Leone.
    2. The design of the Flag shall be from the top of the Flag to the bottom thereof, three horizontal stripes of green, white and blue.
    3. The normal size of the Flag for official use shall be in the proportion of nine units across to six units down.
  1. The National Anthem of the Republic shall be such as Parliament shall prescribe.


4. Fundamental obligations of Government

All organs of Government and all authorities and persons exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers shall conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this Chapter.

5. Government and the people

  1. The Republic of Sierra Leone shall be a State based on the principles of Freedom, Democracy and Justice.
  2. It is accordingly declared that—
    1. sovereignty belongs to the people of Sierra Leone from whom Government through this Constitution derives all its powers, authority and legitimacy;
    2. the security, peace and welfare of the people of Sierra Leone shall be the primary purpose and responsibility of Government, and to this end it shall be the duty of the Armed Forces, the Police, Public Officers and all security agents to protect and safeguard the people of Sierra Leone; and
    3. the participation of the people in the governance of the State shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

6. Political objectives

  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.
  3. For the purposes of promoting national integration and unity, the State shall—
    1. provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout Sierra Leone; and
    2. secure full rights of residence for every citizen in all parts of the State.
  4. The State shall protect and defend the liberty of the individual, enforce the rule of law and ensure the efficient functioning of Government services.
  5. The State shall take all steps to eradicate all corrupt practices and the abuse of power.

7. Economic objectives

  1. The State shall within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution—
    1. harness all the natural resources of the nation to promote national prosperity and an efficient, dynamic and self-reliant economy;
    2. 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;
    3. protect the right of any citizen to engage in any economic activity without prejudice to the rights of any other person to participate in areas of the economy;
    4. place proper and adequate emphasis on agriculture in all its aspects so as to ensure self-sufficiency in food production; and
    5. ensure that Government shall always give priority and encouragement to Sierra Leoneans to participate in all spheres of the economy in furtherance of these objectives.

8. Social objectives

  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—
    1. 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;
    2. the State shall recognise, maintain and enhance the sanctity of the human person and human dignity; and
    3. 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.
  3. The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that—
    1. 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;
    2. 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;
    3. 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;
    4. there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons, having due regard to the resources of the State;
    5. 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; and
    6. the care and welfare of the aged, young and disabled shall be actively promoted and safeguarded.

9. Educational objectives

  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—
    1. 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;
    2. safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups, such as children, women and the disabled in securing educational facilities; and
    3. 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—
    1. free adult literacy programmes;
    2. free compulsory basic education at primary and junior secondary school levels; and
    3. free senior secondary education as and when practicable.
  3. The Government shall promote the learning of indigenous languages and the study and application of modern science, foreign languages, technology, commerce and business.

10. Foreign policy objectives

The Foreign Policy Objectives of the State shall be—

  1. the promotion and protection of the National interest;
  2. the promotion of sub-regional, regional and inter-African co-operation and unity;
  3. the promotion of international co-operation for the consolidation of international peace and security and mutual respect among all nations, and respect for their territorial integrity and independence; and
  4. respect for international law and treaty obligations, as well as the seeking of settlement of international disputes by negotiation, conciliation, arbitration or adjudication.

11. Obligations of the mass media

The press, radio and television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Constitution and highlight the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.

12. Enhancement of national culture

The Government shall—

  1. promote Sierra Leonean culture such as music, art, dance, science, philosophy, education and traditional medicine which is compatible with national development;
  2. recognize traditional Sierra Leonean institutions compatible with national development;
  3. protect and enhance the cultures of Sierra Leone; and
  4. facilitate the provision of funds for the development of culture in Sierra Leone.

13. Duties of the citizen

Every citizen shall—

  1. abide by this Constitution, respect its ideals and its institutions, the National Flag, the National Anthem and authorities and offices established or constituted under this Constitution or any other law;
  2. cultivate a sense of nationalism and patriotism so that loyalty to the State shall override sectional, ethnic, tribal or other loyalties;
  3. protect and preserve public property and prevent the misappropriation and squandering of funds belonging to the Government, local authorities or public corporations;
  4. help enhance the power, prestige and good name of the State and to defend the State and render national service as may be required;
  5. respect the dignity and religion of other individuals, and the rights and interests of others;
  6. make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress, and well-being of the community, wherever he resides;
  7. work conscientiously in a lawful and chosen occupation and abstain from any activity detrimental to the general welfare of others;
  8. ensure the proper control and upbringing of his children and wards;
  9. participate in and defend all democratic processes and practices; and
  10. render assistance to appropriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.

14. Fundamental principles not justiciable

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4, the provisions contained in this Chapter shall not confer legal rights and shall not be enforceable in any court of law, but the principles contained therein shall nevertheless be fundamental in the governance of the State, and it shall be the duty of Parliament to apply these principles in making laws.

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