Lesotho: Women’s Right to Chieftainship

Salc : Staff Writer

On 9 September 2014, Senate Masupha, the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Lesotho) and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) submitted a complaint to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights challenging Lesotho’s law that provides for male-only succession to chieftainship. Ms Masupha, the first born child of a chief, is challenging section 10 of the Chieftainship Act, which denies daughters the ability to succeed to the office of chief solely on the basis of their gender. Ms Masupha had previously challenged the law in the Lesotho Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal arguing that the law violated her constitutional rights. SALC intervened as amicus curiae (friend of the court). The domestic courts upheld the law finding that it did not amount to unfair discrimination.

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:

Letter of Introduction
Questions and Answers on the Complaint before the African Commission

Court of Appeal:

Court of Appeal Judgment
SALC Amicus Submissions
Respondents’ Heads of Argument
Appellant’s Heads of Argument

Constitutional Court:

Constitutional Court Judgment
Judgment Summary
SALC Amicus Submissions
Case summary