Welcome to the Ministry of Justice,Law and Parliamentary Affairs Website
The ministry aspires to provide effective, transparent, efficient, and equitable justice system in the medium term as stipulated in the National Strategic Development Plan II (extended). This obligation is deeply entrenched in the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) II (extended) aspiration of strengthening National Governance and Accountability. This is further aligned to the African Union Sustainable Development Agenda 2063 goal 11 “Entrenching Democratic Values, practices, universal principles of human rights, justice and the rule of law” and goal 13 “Preserving Peace, Security and Stability”. MOJL’s core business is also in perfect alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 16 of “promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.
Justice is part of the Ministry of Justice, Law and Parliamentary affairs of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Justice comprises of four departments; Administration, Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS), Legal Aid Unit and Probation Unit.
First and foremost, the Administration department is the core of the three departments as it improves delivery for provision of the management’s support services. Its main objective is to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the ministerial service delivery by providing adversary expertise.
The Lesotho Correctional Service formally known as Lesotho Prison Service was established by Proclamation No. 30 of 1957 under the Colonial rule. It is currently governed by Lesotho Correctional Service Act of 2016. Its primary mandate is to safely and humanely detain the convicted felons and crime suspects entrusted in their care following Judicial decisions by the courts of Law. LCS further provides rehabilitation and reformatory services to the offenders with the aim of transforming them into productive and Law abiding citizens. To date, LCS has 14 institutions throughout the ten districts of Lesotho.
Moreover, the department of Legal Aid was established by Legal Act of 1978. It is mandated to provide legal representation to indigent Basotho. Currently, Legal Aid has a total of 17 Lawyers and the office is presently only based in Maseru. To attend cases in all districts, the department’s Lawyers travel to districts on scheduled dates to represent their clients in the districts courts.
The department of Probation takes its mandate from the Children and Welfare Act (CPWA) of 2011. It deals with children at risk of offending and those who are in conflict with the Law. It further deals with Restorative Justice which is a dispute resolution mechanism whereby it trains the established Village Child Justice Committees (VCJC) to handle conflict/cases without necessarily going into the judicial processes. Although Probation is also tasked with the objective of supervising offenders sentenced to community service, it does not embark on this due to shortage of staff and other resources.
Furthermore, The Ministry of Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights was formerly known as the Department of Law under the Office of the Prime Minister. It was primarily responsible for the provision of legal advice to the Government and prosecution of cases under the leadership of the Office of Solicitor – General as the First Law Officer of the Crown.
The office later became the Office of the Attorney General established in 1985 in terms of the Office of the Attorney General Act No. 6 of 1985. As far back as 1985, the Attorney General’s chambers comprised the Office of the Attorney General (referred to as the Civil Section). The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions referred as Criminal section, and the office offices of the Draftsman, Registrar of Companies and Deeds and Master of the High Court. The department has very thin support staff comprising the Registry and Accounts Sections
Consequent to the introduction of Military Government in 1086, the department was granted full Ministerial status styled ‘The Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs”. In 1990, consequent upon changes in the composition of the then ruling Military Council, the Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs also became the Minister of Justice, and Prisons as it was responsible for the two separate Ministers. This position remained so even after the 1993 elections when democratic rule was restored. During the period 1986 to 1993, to the present day, the Ministry underwent structural changes culminating in the existence of eight departments of the entire Ministry.
Following the National Assembly Elections in 2012, the Ministries of Law and Justice (commonly referred as such) were grouped together under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights Correctional Service, and Constitutional Affairs, albeit with distinct Ministerial budget allocations and separate cost centers, still under one Minister. This “apparent merger” ceased in 2013 and there was reversion to the original position (1986-1990) when the Minister of Law and responsible for the single Ministry, suffice to the mention though that the Department of Human Rights is a recent creation previously under the Ministry of Justice.
Law is currently structured in the following functional areas: Administration and the Attorney General’s chambers.
Administration sections mainly supports the Attorney Generals chambers administratively. It is composed of Accounts, IT, Public Relations, Government Printing, Human Resource, Procurement and Administration.
The Attorney Generals Chambers include the following:
1.The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (Criminal)
2.The office of the Parliamentary Counsel
3.The Registrar General’s Office
6.Law Reform Commission
EU strengthens the Ministry's justice system
Justice systems strengthening forum
Support for the Reform & Strengthening of Governance Programme launch
Ministry of Justice and Law hosts health Expo
Ministry of Justice and Law hosts a cleaning campaign
Lesotho Correctional Services grow their own vegetables for good nutrition