Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone
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COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY
Appointment of Commissions of Inquiry.
(1) Save as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the President shall, by constitutional instrument, appoint a Commission of inquiry into any matter of public interest where—
(a) the Cabinet advises that it is in the public interest so to do; or
(b) Parliament by a resolution passed in that behalf requires that a Commission be appointed to inquire into any matter specified in the resolution being a matter of public importance.
(2) A Commission appointed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) may consist of a sole Commissioner or two or more persons one of whom shall be appointed the Chairman of the Commission.
(3) No person shall be appointed a sole Commissioner or the Chairman of a Commission of Inquiry pursuant to the provisions of this section unless—
(a) he is a Judge of the Superior Court of Judicature; or
(b) he is a person qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Judicature; or
(c) he is a person who has held office as a Judge of the Superior Court of Judicature; or
(d) he is a person who possess special background knowledge in respect of the matter forming the subject-matter of the investigation.
(4) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3), where a Commission of Inquiry appointed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) consists of more than two Commissioners other than the Chairman, at least one of them shall be a person who possesses special qualifications or knowledge in respect of the matter forming the subject-matter of the investigation.
Powers, rights and privileges of Commissions of Inquiry. 148. (1) A Commission of Inquiry shall have such powers, rights and privileges as are vested in the High Court of Justice or a Judge thereof at a trial in respect of—
(a) enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise; and
(b) compelling the production of documents; and
(c) the issue of a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.
(2) A sole Commissioner or a Member of a Commission of Inquiry shall not be liable to any action or suit in respect of any matter or thing done by him in the performance of his functions as such Commissioner or Member.
(3) Save as may be otherwise ordered by the Commission in the interest of public safety or public order, the proceedings of every Commission of Inquiry shall be held in public.
Publication of report of Commission of Inquiry and right of appeal. 149. (1) The Commission of Inquiry shall—
(a) make a full, faithful and an impartial inquiry into any matter specified in the commission of appointment;
(b) report in writing the result of the inquiry; and
(c) furnish in the repost the reasons leading to the conclusions arrived at or reported.
(2) The President shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4), cause to be published the report of a Commission of Inquiry together with the White Paper thereon within six months of the date of the submission of the report by the Commission.
(3) Where the report of a Commission of Inquiry is not to be published, the President shall issue a statement to that effect, giving reasons with the report is not to be published.
(4) Where a Commission of Inquiry makes an adverse finding against any person, which may result in a penalty, forfeiture or loss of status, the report of the Commission of Inquiry shall, for the purposes of this Constitution, be deemed to be a judgement of the High Court of Justice and accordingly an appeal shall lie as of right from the Commission to the Court of Appeal.
Rules regulating Commissions of Inquiry.
150. Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, the Rules of Court Committee shall, but constitutional instrument, make rules regulating the practice and procedure of all Commissions of Inquiry.