Practice Relating to Rule 99. Deprivation of Liberty
Section E. Decision on the lawfulness of deprivation of liberty
Sierra Leone’s Constitution (1991) states:
CHAPTER III – THE RECOGNITION AND PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
17. Protection from arbitrary arrest or detention.
(1) No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty except as may be authorised by law in any of the following cases …
29. Public Emergency.
(2) The President may issue a Proclamation of a state of public emergency only when –
a. Sierra Leone is at war; [or]
b. Sierra Leone is in imminent danger of invasion or involvement in a state of war; or
c. there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the whole of Sierra Leone or any part thereof to such an extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security; or
d. there is a clear and present danger of an actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the whole of Sierra Leone or any part thereof requiring extraordinary measures to avert the same; or
e. there is an occurrence of imminent danger, or the occurrence of any disaster or natural calamity affecting the community or a section of the community in Sierra Leone; or
f. there is any other public danger which clearly constitutes a threat to the existence of Sierra Leone.
(6) Without derogating from the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (5) and notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, the regulations or measures may, so far as appears to the President to be necessary or expedient for any of the purposes mentioned in that subsection –
a. make provision for the detention of persons, the restriction of the movement of persons within defined localities, and the deportation and exclusion of persons other than citizens of Sierra Leone from Sierra Leone or any part thereof;
(17) During a period of detention –
a. if any person who is detained in such a case as is mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (6) and who is not released so requests at any time not earlier than thirty days after he last made such a request during that period, his case shall be reviewed by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law, comprising not more than three persons from amongst persons of not less than fifteen year’s standing entitled to practise in Sierra Leone as legal practitioners;
c. on any review by a tribunal in pursuance of paragraph (a) of the case of any detained person, the tribunal may make recommendations concerning the necessity or expediency of continuing his detention to the authority by whom it was ordered, but unless it is otherwise provided by law, that authority shall not be obliged to act in accordance with any such recommendation.