Subordinate Courts Order, 1988
Ordinance 9 of 1988
- Published in Government Gazette on 31 December 1988
- Commencement date unknown
- [This is the version of this document from 31 December 1988.]
- [This legislation was digitised using the Laws of Lesotho Volumes I – XLVII, which were produced by the Attorney General of Lesotho, as reference. As the volumes do not include precise publication dates, the last day of the year of publication has been used as the date of publication.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short title and commencementThis Order may be cited as the Subordinate Courts Order, 1988, and shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.
2. InterpretationIn this Order, unless the context otherwise requires,"court" means a subordinate court established under section 3(1);"district" means the area within which a court has jurisdiction in accordance with section 15(2);"High Court" means the High Court established under section 2 of the High Court Act, 1978;[Act 5 of 1978]"immovable property" includes every right or interest to and in any building and other fixtures erected within Lesotho with the consent of the Government express or implied;"judge" means a judge of the High Court;"judgment" in civil cases includes a sentence, decree, rule or order;"judicial officer" means any officer appointed under section 5 of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1983;[Act 7 of 1983]"magistrate" means a person appointed to be a magistrate under section 5;"messenger of court" means any officer duly appointed to execute the sentences, decrees, judgments, writs, summons, rules, orders, commands and processes of a subordinate court and includes a deputy-messenger, assistant messenger, and in the absence of any such appointment, a member of the Royal Lesotho Mounted Police;"Minister" means the Minister responsible for Justice and Prisons;"offence" means an act or omission punishable by law;"sheriff" means any officer duly appointed to execute the sentences, decrees, judgments, writs, summonses, rules, orders, commands and processes of the High Court, and includes a deputy-sheriff; and, in the absence of any such appointment, a Colonel or a Major of the Royal Lesotho Mounted Police.
Part II – Courts
3. Constitution of courts
4. Who may hold courts, etc.
5. Appointment and classes of magistrates
6. Nature of subordinate courts and force and effect of process
7. Courts to be open to the public with exceptions
8. Public access to recordsThe records and proceedings of the court shall in all cases be accessible to the public under the supervision of an officer of the court at convenient times and upon payment of such fees as may be prescribed by rules:Provided that after a period of thirty years has expired from the date of judgment in such proceedings, the Minister may order the removal of such records and proceedings to a central place of custody.
Part III – Officers of the court
9. Clerk of court
10. Messengers of courtAny magistrate may, subject to the approval of the Registrar of the High Court, appoint messengers and deputy messengers of the court, subject to such conditions as to remuneration and tenure of office as the Registrar of the High Court may determine.
11. Service of process by the policeWhenever process of the court in a civil case is to be served and no messenger or deputy messenger has been appointed at the place where the court is held, or whenever process of the court in a criminal case is to be served, a member of the Royal Lesotho Mounted Police shall be as qualified to serve all such process and all other documents in such a case as if he had been duly appointed deputy messenger.
12. Messenger's returns to be evidenceThe written return of a messenger or of any person authorized to perform any of the functions of a messenger to any process of the court shall be prima facie evidence of the matters therein stated.
13. Suspension of messenger for misconduct
14. Officers appointed previously to remain in officeEvery officer of the court holding office immediately prior to the commencement of this Order shall be deemed to be duly appointed under this Order and shall be invested with power, duties and authority accordingly.
Part IV – Local limits of jurisdiction
15. Local limits of jurisdiction
Part V – Civil jurisdiction
16. Jurisdiction in respect of personsSave as otherwise provided by this Order or by any other law, the persons in respect of whom the court shall have jurisdiction shall be,
17 Jurisdiction in respect of causes of action
18. Arrests and interdicts
19. Curator ad litemThe court may appoint a curator ad litem in any case in which a curator is required or allowed by law for a party to any proceedings brought or to be brought before the court.
20. AssessorsIn any action the court may summon to its assistance one or more persons to sit and act as assessors in an advisory capacity.
21. Rescission of judgment
22. Incidental jurisdiction
23. Abandonment of part of claim
24. Deductions of admitted debtIn order to bring a claim within the jurisdiction, a plaintiff may, in his summons or at any time after the issue thereof, deduct from his claim, whether liquidated or unliquidated, any amount admitted by him to be due by himself to the defendant.
25. Splitting of claims disallowedA substantive claim exceeding the jurisdiction may not be split with the object of recovering the same in more than one action, if the parties to all such actions would be the same and the point at issue in all such actions would also be the same.
26. Jurisdiction cumulative
27. Application of sections 20 to 26 to claims in reconventionIn sections 20 to 26 inclusive, "action", "claim", and "summons" include "claim in reconvention" and "plaintiff" and "defendant" include "plaintiff in reconvention" respectively.
28. Jurisdiction by consent of partiesSubject to section 29, the court shall have jurisdiction to determine any action or proceeding otherwise beyond the jurisdiction, if the parties consent in writing thereto.
29. Matters beyond jurisdiction of subordinate courtsThe court shall have no jurisdiction in matters,
30. Counter-claim exceeding jurisdiction
31. JudgmentThe court may, as the result of the trial of an action, grant,
Part VI – Witnesses and evidence in civil actions
32. Modes of procuring attendance of witnesses and penalty for non-attendance
34. Commissions de bene esse
Part VII – Execution of judgments
35. Jurisdiction of courts to issue executionAny court which has jurisdiction to try any action against any party thereto shall have jurisdiction to issue against any party thereto any form of process in execution of its judgment in such action.
36. Superannuation of judgments and revival thereof and force of warrants of execution
37. Setting aside of warrantThe court may, on good cause shown, stay or set aside any warrant of execution or arrest issued by such court.
38. Execution in case of judgment debt cededAny person who has, either by cession or by operation of law, become entitled to the benefit of a judgment debt may, after notice to the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor, be substituted on the record for the judgment creditor and may obtain execution or process in aid in the manner provided for judgment creditor.
39. Manner of execution
40. Property exempt from executionIn respect of any process of execution issued out of any court, the following property shall be protected from seizure and shall not be attached or sold,
41. Property executable
42. Interpleader claims
43. Sale in execution gives good titleA sale in execution by the messenger shall not, in the case of movable property after delivery thereof or in the case of immovable property after registration of transfer, be liable to be impeached as against a purchaser in good faith and without notice of any defect.
44. Surplus after executionIf, after a sale in execution, there remains any surplus in the hands of the messenger, it shall be liable to attachment for any other unsatisfied judgment debt.
45. Debt, salary or wages may be attached
46. Future and accruing earnings when attachable
47. Jurisdiction to decide disputes arising out of garnishee orders
48. Execution or payment is discharge pro tantoPayment made by or execution levied upon the garnishee under this Order shall be a valid discharge of the debt or amount of salary or wages due from him to the judgment debtor to the extent of the amount paid or levied.
49. Saving of existing law prohibiting attachment of certain propertyNothing in this Order contained shall be construed as authorising the attachment of any debt, salary or wages or any moneys or property specially declared by any law not to be liable to attachment.
50. Order for payment by instalments
51. Execution or suspension in case of appealWhere an appeal has been noted or an application to rescind, correct or vary a judgment has been made, the court may direct either that the judgment shall be carried into execution or that execution thereof shall be suspended pending the decision upon the appeal or application. The direction shall be made upon such terms, if any, as the court may determine as to security for the due performance of any judgment which may be given upon the appeal or application
Part VIII – Appeals in civil cases
52. Decision of subordinate court may be finalNo appeal shall lie from the decision of a court if, before the hearing is commenced, the parties lodge with the court an agreement in writing that the decision of the court shall be final.
53. Appeals from subordinate courtsSubject to section 52, a party to any civil suit or proceeding in a subordinate court may appeal to the High Court against,
54. Time, manner and conditions of appealEvery party so appealing shall do so within the period and in the manner prescribed by the rules, but the High Court may in any case extend such period.
55. Right of appeal not lost by satisfaction of judgmentA party shall not lose the right to appeal through satisfying or offering to satisfy the judgment in respect of which he appeals or any part thereof or by accepting any benefit from such judgment, decree or order.
56. Respondent may abandon judgment
57. Powers of High Court on appealThe High Court may, on appeal,
58. Execution of judgment of High Court on appealThe judgment of the High Court on appeal shall be recorded in the court appealed from, and shall be enforced as if it had been given in such last-mentioned court.
Part IX – Criminal jurisdiction
59. Jurisdiction in respect of classes of crime and offencesThe court shall have jurisdiction over all offences except treason, murder and sedition.
60. Local limits of jurisdiction in respect of crimes
61. Jurisdiction in the matter of punishment
62. When summary trial to be turned into preparatory examinationWhen in the course of any trial it appears that the offence under trial is from its nature or magnitude only subject to the jurisdiction or more proper for the cognizance of the High Court, or when the public prosecutor so requests, the presiding officer shall stop the trial, and the proceedings shall thereupon be those of a preparatory examination.
Part X – Remittal of cases
63. Cases remitted for trial or sentenceWhen a case in which a preparatory examination was held has been remitted for trial or sentence, the court to which it has been remitted shall deal therewith as prescribed by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, 1981 and shall have the power, in respect of each offence or count to which the remittal refers, to impose a sentence in accordance with section 61 if the remittal is expressed to be under the ordinary jurisdiction of such court or a sentence in accordance with section 64 if the remittal is expressed to be under the increased jurisdiction given by section 64.
64. Jurisdiction in respect of punishments in remitted cases
Part XI – Review as of course
65. Review of sentences imposed by subordinate court of the Third ClassAll sentences in criminal cases imposed by a subordinate court of the Third Class shall be subject to review as of course by a Chief Magistrate, a Senior Resident Magistrate, a Resident Magistrate or a Magistrate of the First Class but without prejudice to the right of appeal against such sentence whether before or after confirmation of the sentence by the officer reviewing the same.
66. Sentence subject to automatic review by the High CourtAll sentences in criminal cases in which the punishment awarded is a fine or imprisonment, including detention in a reformatory, industrial school, inebriate reformatory, refuge, rescue home or other similar institutions,
67. Submission of records and remarks to magistrate or judge for consideration
68. Proceedings on review
Part XII – Execution of sentences
69. Warrant required for commitment to prison
70. Execution of sentence suspended under certain conditions
71. Person sentenced to whipping to be detained pending review
Part XIII – Criminal appeals
Part XIV – Offences and penalties
73. Penalty for disobedience of order of courtA person who wilfully disobeys or neglects to comply with any order of a subordinate court is guilty of a contempt of court and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of M500 or, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period of 6 months, or to such imprisonment without the option of a fine.
74. Offences relating to executionA person who,
75. Custody and punishment for contempt of court
Part XV – General and supplementary
76. Jurisdiction as to plea of ultra viresNo subordinate court shall have jurisdiction to pronounce upon the validity of any law, other than a regulation, rule, order or by-law made under any enactment.
77. Amendment of proceedings
78. Review of decisionsWhenever a decision is given by a subordinate court in a criminal case on a matter of law and the Director of Public Prosecutions is dissatisfied with such decision he may seek the ruling thereon of the High Court, and the High Court may set down the matter to be argued before it.
79. Savings and non-application of Order
80. Saving existing custom of summoning accused person or witnessesNothing in this Order contained shall affect the existing custom whereby the attendance of a person accused or witness or party to a civil action in any court in Lesotho may be secured through a chief or headman by warning, either in writing or by messenger of such chief or headman.
81. Power to make rules
82. Administration of oath or affirmation
83. Repeals and savings
History of this document
|Subordinate Court Rules, 1996||Legal Notice 132 of 1996|