CHAPTER 48
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

   3.   Extent of Commission's autonomy

   4.   Seal of Commission

   5.   Composition of Commission

   6.   Oath on appointment

   7.   Tenure of office and vacancy

   8.   Filling of casual vacancy

   9.   Functions of Commission

   10.   Powers of Commission

   11.   Complaints

   12.   Sittings of the Commission to be public

   13.   Recommendation by Commission

   14.   Proceedings of Commission

   15.   Committees

   16.   Disclosure of interest

   17.   Prohibition of disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

PART III
DIRECTORATE OF THE COMMISSION

   18.   Director, Deputy Director and other staff

   19.   Prohibition of disclosure of information by staff to unauthorised persons

   20.   Immunity of Commissioners and staff

   21.   Offences

PART IV
FINANCIAL AND OTHER PROVISIONS

   22.   Funds of Commission

   23.   Financial year

   24.   Accounts

   25.   Annual report

   26.   Rules

   27.   Regulations

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for the functions and powers of the Human Rights Commission; to provide for its composition and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[12th December, 1996]

Act 39 of 1996,

SI 34 of 1997.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Human Rights Commission Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—

“appropriate authority” means the authority to whom a recommendation is made by the Commission under section 13;

“appointed date” means such date as the President may appoint under section 1;

“Chairperson” means the person appointed as Chairperson under section 5;

“Commission” means the Human Rights Commission established under the Constitution;

“Commissioner” means a person appointed Commissioner under section 5;

“Deputy Director” means a person appointed as Deputy Director under section 18;

“Director” means the person appointed as Director under section 18;

“Secretary” means the Secretary to the Commission referred to in section 18;

“Staff” means the staff of the Commission appointed under section 18; and

“Vice-Chairperson” means the person appointed as Vice-Chairperson under section 5.

PART II
THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

3.   Extent of Commission's autonomy

The Commission shall not, in the performance of its duties, be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.

4.   Seal of Commission

   (1) The seal of the Commission shall be such device as may be determined by the Commission and shall be kept by the Secretary.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Commission.

   (3) Any document purporting to be under the seal of the Commission or issued on behalf of the Commission shall be received in evidence and shall be deemed to be so executed or issued, as the case may be, without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

5.   Composition of Commission

   (1) The Commission shall consist of the following Commissioners—

      (a)   the Chairperson;

      (b)   the Vice-Chairperson; and

      (c)   not more than five other Commissioners.

   (2) The Commissioners shall be appointed by the President, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

   (3) The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be persons who have held, or are qualified to hold, high judicial office.

6.   Oath on appointment

   (1) Every Commissioner shall, on appointment affirm or take an oath in Form I as set out in Part I of the Schedule, and such oath shall be administered by the President.

   (2) The Secretary and other members of staff shall on appointment, affirm or take an oath in Form 2 as set out in Part II of the Schedule and such oath shall be administered by a Commissioner for Oaths.

7.   Tenure of office and vacancy

   (1) A Commissioner referred to in sub-section (1) of section 5 shall be appointed for a term not exceeding three years, subject to renewal:

Provided that, the first Commissioners shall be appointed for periods ranging from one to three years in order to facilitate retirement by rotation.

   (2) A Commissioner may be removed from office for inability to perform the functions of the Commissioner's office, whether arising from infirmity of body or mind, incompetence or for misbehaviour.

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