Sierra Leone
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1991
Last Amended 2008
Source World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

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.


8. Social objectives

(1) The Social Order of the State shall be founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice.
� (3) The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that�
�b. 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;


13. Duties of the citizen

Every citizen shall�
�e. respect the dignity and religious of other individuals, and the rights and interests of others;


15. Fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual

Whereas every person in Sierra Leone is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following�
�b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;


19. Protection from slavery and forced labor

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude or be required to perform forced labor or traffic or deal in human beings.
(2) For the purposes of this section the expression "forced labor" does not include�
�c. any labor required of a member of a defense force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as such a member, any labor which that person is required by law to perform in place of such service; or


24. Protection of freedom of conscience

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience and for the purpose of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom either alone or in community with others and both in public and in private to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(2) Except with his own consent (or if he is a minor the consent of his parent or guardian) no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or to attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.
(3) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community or denomination in the course of any education provided by that community or denomination.
(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.
(5) 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 a provision which is reasonably required�
a. in the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
b. for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited intervention of the members of any other religion;
and except in so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof, is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.


35. Registration and conduct of political parties

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, political parties may be established to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, and social and economic programs of a national character, and to sponsor candidates for Presidential, Parliamentary or Local Government elections.
�(5) No association, by whatever name called, shall be registered or be allowed to operate or to function as a political party if the Political Parties Registration Commission is satisfied that
a. membership or leadership of the party is restricted to members of any particular tribal or ethnic group or religious faith; or
b. the name, symbol, color or motto of the party has exclusive or particular significance or connotation to members of any particular tribal or ethnic group or religious faith; or
c. the party is formed for the sole purpose of securing or advancing the interests and welfare of a particular tribal or ethnic group, community, geographical area or religious faith; or
d. the party does not have a registered office in each of the Provincial Headquarter towns and the Western Area.
�(7) Any association aggrieved by a decision of the Political Parties Registration Commission under this section may appeal to the Supreme Court and the decision of the Court shall be final.
(8) For the purposes of this section the expression�
"association" includes any body of persons, corporate or incorporate, who agree to act together for any common purpose, or an association formed for any ethnic, social, cultural, occupational or religious purpose; and
"political party" means any association registered as a political party as prescribed by subsection (5).


SECOND SCHEDULE: PRESIDENT�S OATH

"I_________________ do hereby (in the name of God swear) (solemnly affirm) that I will at all times well and truly discharge the duties of the office of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone according to law, that I will preserve, support, uphold, maintain and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone as by law established, and that I will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favor, affection or ill-will. (So help me God.)"


THIRD SCHEDULE

Oath of the Vice-President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Cabinet, Solicitor-General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Members of the Electoral Commission, the Speaker, Members of Parliament, Auditor-General, Members of the Public Service Commission, the Chief Justice and Judges of the Superior Court of Judicature, Members of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, Members of the Police Council, Members of the Defense Council.


OATH OF THE SPEAKER

"I _________________ do hereby (in the name of God swear) (solemnly affirm) that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic of sierra Leone as by law established; that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as Speaker of Parliament, and that I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution of Sierra Leone and uphold the Laws and customs of Parliament without fear or favor, affection or ill-will. (So help me God.)"


OATH OF MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

"I _________________ having been elected a Member of Parliament do hereby (in the name of God swear) (solemnly affirm) that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic of Sierra Leone as by law established, that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of Sierra Leone, and that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of a Member of Parliament. (So help me God.)"


THE JUDICIAL OATH

"I _________________ do hereby (in the name of God swear) (solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully and truly discharge the duties of the office of _________________ and that I will support and uphold the Constitution of Sierra Leone as by Law established, and that I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of Sierra Leone without fear or favor, affection or ill-will. (So help me God.)"

Sources

1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.