Judicial System of Mauritius
Supreme court: Supreme Court
Ministry: Attorney-General’s Office
The constitution established the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary and guaranteed the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual. The death penalty was abolished in 1989.
The justice system derives from English common law and the French Napoleonic Code. The Supreme Court comprises the Court of Civil Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal, with a chief justice, a senior judge and 17 judges (2013). It has unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil or criminal proceedings, and it has original jurisdiction in the interpretation of the constitution, and in the most serious criminal cases, when it sits with judge and jury.
The Intermediate Court and District Court are both magistrates’ courts, with jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters, the District Court having divisions throughout the country. The Industrial Court – also a magistrates’ court – deals with employment issues. Appeals from these lower courts are heard in the Court of Civil Appeal or the Court of Criminal Appeal, as appropriate. The Privy Council in the UK is the final court of appeal.
The President of the republic appoints the chief justice, in consultation with the Prime Minister; the senior judge, with the advice of the chief justice; and other judges, with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.