Find Legal expertise in Seychelles
- Legal System
The legal system in Seychelles is derived from English Common Law, the civil law and the 1993 Constitution. Civil law is based on the French Napoleonic code but adapted for the Seychelles and referred to as the Civil Code of Seychelles. Both criminal and procedural law is largely based on British systems of law. Company law is derived from English Common Law. The constitution provides for an independent judiciary. The court system comprises of the magistrates’ court, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal. Specialised courts include the rent tribunal and the industrial court. Judges are recruited from other Commonwealth countries and serve a seven year contract.
Legal practitioners in the Seychelles are classed as attorneys-at-law. There are over 40 attorneys-at-law in the country (2012). All attorneys-at-law should be admitted to the Supreme Court. In order to do this they must complete three stages of education comprising of a law degree from a recognised institution in the UK, Mauritius or France, or another Commonwealth country subject to approval by the judiciary; followed by the bar exam and a pupillage. The pupillage stage is seen as crucial as, given the absence of universities in the Seychelles, qualifications gained abroad do not comprehensively cover the country’s unique legal system. Alternatively an Articled Clerk in an approved law chamber can, in accordance with certain stipulations, qualify as an attorney-at-law.
Attorneys can practice privately as sole practitioners or in partnership as law firms. Some attorneys are given the distinction of State Counsel, equivalent to the award of Queen’s Counsel given in some other Commonwealth countries. State Counsellors must have distinguished themselves in their career as courtroom advocate and made significant contributions to the Seychelles’ jurisprudence. They also have the right to represent the government in all courts of law in the country.
The main lawyers association in the country is the Bar Association of Seychelles (BAS) which is a non-statutory, non-regulatory body. Regulation and discipline of members of the Bar is the responsibility of the Supreme Court of Seychelles.
Prominent companies include Victoria Law Firm, Pardiwalla Twomey Lablache, Chetty & Hoareau Chambers, Appleby, Intershore Chambers and Kieran Bhogilal Shah.
Information from the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013