Find Legal expertise in Mauritius
- Legal System
Mauritian law is a combination of French and British legal traditions, deriving from the French Napoleonic Code and English Common Law. The country possesses a single-structured judicial system made up of two parts the Supreme Court and the subordinate courts. The subordinate courts consist of the Court of Rodrigues, the District Courts, the Intermediate Court and the Industrial Court. The last court of appeal is the Privy Council in England, and the constitution is based on the British parliamentary system. The Supreme Court comprises the Court of Civil Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal. It consists of the Chief Justice, the Senior Puisne Judge and 14 puisne judges. The judges also act as judges of the court of criminal appeal and the court of civil appeal. It is the highest judicial authority in the country, with unlimited jurisdiction to determine any civil and criminal proceedings. It holds original jurisdiction in the most serious criminal cases, when it sits with judge and jury. The Intermediate Court and ten district courts are magistrates’ courts; both have jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters. The Industrial Court is mandated to protect the constitutional rights of the citizen. The president, in consultation with the prime minister, is responsible for the appointment of the chief justice, and with the advice of the chief justice appoints the associate judges. Other judges are nominated by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commissions. The constitution establishes the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. It guarantees the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual (the death penalty was abolished in 1989).
The legal profession in Mauritius is divided into barristers, attorneys and public notaries. Barristers specialise in advocacy and legal consultancy, while attorneys primarily handle the procedural aspects of litigation. Public notaries deal mainly with title deeds for land, conveyance and succession. The Mauritian Bar Association is the professional body for barristers in the country. As of the Law Practitioners Amendment Act of 2008, a foreign lawyer may make a written application to the Attorney-General in order to register and gain the right to provide legal services within a law firm, foreign law firm or joint law venture. The changes in 2008 also opened up Mauritius to the work of foreign law firms. Most law firms are based in Port Louis and established firms include Banyandhub Boolell Chambers, the first firm to be registered by the Attorney General as a Mauritian law firm after the amendment to the Law Practitioners’ Act in 2008. Other notable firms in the arena of financial and corporate law include Chambers of Sir Hamid Moollan QC, De Comarmond & Koenig, Juristconsult Chambers, Uteem Chambers and Appleby.
Information from the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013
Legal rights index
Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes
Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regulations
Property rights (including financial assets)
Intellectual property protection