CHAPTER V: THE LEGISLATURE
The legislative power of the Republic shall be vested in the Legislature of Liberia which shall
consist of two separate houses: A Senate and a House of Representatives, both of which must
pass on all legislation. The enacting style shall be: “It is enacted by the Senate and House of
Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature assembled.”
Citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the
a) for the Senate, have attained the age of 30 years and for the House of Representatives, have
attained the age of 25 years;
b) be domiciled in the country or constituency to be represented not less than one year prior to
the time of the election and be a taxpayer.
Each member of the Legislature, before taking his seat and entering upon the duties of office,
shall take and subscribe to a solemn oath of affirmation, before the presiding officer of the House
to which such person was elected and in the presence of other members of that House, to uphold
and defend the Constitution and laws of the Republic and to discharge faithfully the duties of such
a) The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday
b) The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least onefourth
of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a regular session of
the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special extraordinary session of that
body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or
call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than forty-eight
hours after receipt of the certificate by the President.
Simple majority of each House shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a
lower number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members.
Whenever the House of Representatives and the Senate shall meet in joint session, the presiding
officer of the House of Representatives shall preside.
The Legislature shall have the power:
a) to create new counties and other political sub-division, and readjust existing county
b) to provide for the security of the Republic;
c) Armed Forces of the Republic, and to make appropriations therefor provided that no
appropriation of money for that use shall be for a longer term than on year; and to make rules for
the governance of the Armed Forces of the Republic;
d) to levy taxes, duties, imports, exercise and other revenues, to borrow money, issue currency,
mint coins, and to make appropriations for the fiscal governance of the Republic, subject to the
(i) all revenue bills, whether subsidies, charges, imports, duties or taxes, and other financial bills,
shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with
amendments as on other bills. No other financial charge shall be established, fixed, laid or levied
on any individual, community or locality under any pretext whatsoever except by the expressed
consent of the individual, community or locality. In all such cases, a true and correct account of
funds collected shall be made to the community or locality;
(ii) no monies shall be drawn from the treasure except in consequence of appropriations made
by legislative enactment and upon warrant of the President; and no coin shall be minted or
national currency issued except by the expressed authority of the Legislature. An annual
statement and account of the expenditure of all public monies shall be submitted by the office of
the President to the Legislature and published once a year;
(iii) no loans shall be raised by the Government on behalf of the Republic or guarantees given for
any public institutions or authority otherwise than by or under the authority of a legislative
e) to constitute courts inferior to the Supreme Court, including circuit courts, claims courts and
such courts with prescribed jurisdictional powers as may be deemed necessary for the proper
administration of justice throughout the Republic;
f) to approve treaties, conventions and such other international agreements negotiated or signed
on behalf of the Republic;
g) to regulate trade and commence between Liberia and other nations;
h) to establish laws for citizenship, naturalization and residence;
i) to enact the election laws;
j) to establish various categories of criminal offenses and provide for the punishment thereof;
k) to enact laws providing pension scheme for various categories of government officials and
employees in accordance with age and tenure of service; and
l) to make other laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the
foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the
Republic, or in any department or officer thereof.
Each bill or resolution which shall have passed both Houses of the Legislature shall, before it
becomes law, be laid before the President for his approval. If he grants approval, it shall become
law. If the President does not approve such bill or resolution, he shall return it, with his objections,
to the House in which it originated. In so doing, the President may disapprove of the entire bill or
resolution or any item or items thereof. This veto may be overridden by the re-passage of such
bill, resolution or item thereof by a veto of two-thirds of the members in each House, in which
case it shall become law. If the President does not return the bill or resolution within twenty days
after the same shall have been laid before him it shall become law in like manner as if he had
signed it, unless the Legislature by adjournment prevents its return.
No bill or resolution shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in its title.
The Senators and Representatives shall receive from the Republic remuneration for their services
to be fixed by law, provided that any increase shall become effective at the beginning of the next
In the event of a vacancy in the Legislature caused by death, resignation, expulsion or otherwise,
the presiding officer shall within 30 days notify the Elections Commission thereof. The Elections
Commission shall not later than 90 days thereafter cause a by-election to be held; provided that
where such vacancy occurs within 90 days prior to the holding of general elections, the filling of
the vacancy shall await the holding of such general elections.
Each House shall adopt its own rules of procedure, enforce order and with the concurrence of
two-thirds of the entire membership, may expel a member for cause. Each House shall establish
its own committees and sub-committees; provided, however, that the committees on revenues
and appropriations shall consist of one member from each County. All rules adopted by the
Legislature shall conform to the requirements of due process of law laid down in this Constitution.
The Legislature shall cause a census of the Republic to be undertaken every ten years.
Neither House shall adjourn for more than five days without the consent of the other and both
Houses shall always sit in the same city.
The business of the Legislature shall be concluded in the English language or, when adequate
preparations shall have been made, in one more of the languages of the Republic as the
Legislature may by resolution approve.
No member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or
tried as a result of opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of the functions of his office.
Members shall be privileged from arrest while attending, going to or returning from sessions of
the Legislature, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace. All official acts done or
performed and all statement made in the Chambers of the Legislature shall be privileged, and no
Legislator shall be held accountable or punished therefor.
The power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and
the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the Senate. When the President, Vice
President or an Associate Justice is to be tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; when the Chief
Justice or a judge of a subordinate court of record is to be tried, the President of the Senate shall
preside. No person shall be impeached but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the total
membership of the Senate. Judgments in such cases shall not extend beyond removal from
office and disqualification to hold public office in the Republic; but the party may be tried at law for
the same offense. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings
which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law.
Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the legislative functions or
which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their
legislative duties and may be punished by the House concerned by reasonable sanctions after a
hearing consistent with due process of law. No sanctions shall extend beyond the session of the
Legislature wherein it is imposed, and any sanction imposed shall conform to the provisions on
Fundamental Rights laid down in the Constitution. Disputes between legislators and nonmembers
which are properly cognizable in the courts shall not be entertained or heard in the
The Senate shall composed of Senators elected for a term of nine years by the registered voters
in each of the counties, but a Senator elected in a by-election to fill a vacancy created by death,
resignation, expulsion or otherwise, shall be so elected to serve only the remainder of the
unexpired term of office. Each county shall elect two Senators and each Senator shall have one
vote in the Senate. Senators shall be eligible for re-election.
Immediately after the Senate shall have assembled following the elections prior to the coming into
force of this Constitution, the Senators shall be divided into two categories as a result of the votes
cast in each county. The Senator with the higher votes cast shall be the Senator from a county
shall be placed in the same category. The seats of Senators of the first category shall be vacated
at the expiration of the ninth year. In the interest of legislative continuity, the Senators of the
second category shall serve a first term of six years only, after the first elections. Thereafter, all
Senators shall be elected to serve a term of nine years.
The Senate shall elect once every six years a President Pro Tempore who shall preside in the
absence of the President of the Senate, and such shall officers as shall ensure the proper
functioning of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore and other officers so elected may be
removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-theirs majority of the members of the
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members elected for a term of six years by
the registered voters in each of the legislative constituencies of the counties, but a member of the
House of Representatives elected in a by-election to fill a vacancy created by death, resignation
or otherwise, shall be elected to serve only the remainder of the unexpired term of the office.
Members of the House of Representatives shall be eligible for re-election.
The House of Representative shall elect once every six years a Speaker who shall be the
presiding officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker, and such other officers as shall ensure the
proper functioning of the House. The speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officers so elected
may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds majority of the members of the