Mauritius is an island, of volcanic formation, located in the centre of the Indian Ocean and has an area of 2,040 km square. The island was first visited briefly in the years 1500-1600 by the Arabs, Portuguese and Dutch. The latter inhabited the island for almost a century and departed in 1710 while leaving the sugarcane plantation they had introduced.
In 1715, the French then took control of Ile De France (as the country was then known). In 1810, the French surrendered to the British invasion and the island went under the British rule till 12 March 1968 when Mauritius turned into a sovereign democratic state. Mauritius became a Republic on 12 March 1992. The Constitution of Mauritius provides for separation of powers through the three organs available to the State: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.
The Legislature The Parliament of Mauritius is modeled after the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, where Members of Parliament are voted in at regular general elections on the basis of a first past the post system. The Parliament consists of the President and a National Assembly. The later is made up of 70 members of whom 62 are directly elected in 21 constituencies. The Executive
The executive authority of the Republic of Mauritius is vested in the President who shall then appoint the Prime Minister, its Deputy Prime Minister from the majority ruling party to hold office until the next general elections. The Prime Minister is then invited to form his Cabinet which shall consist of other Ministers duly elected. The Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to the Assembly for all things done by or under authority of any Minister in execution of his office. The Attorney-General shall be the principle legal advisor to the Government of Mauritius. The final court of Appeal of Mauritius is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In 2008 and 2010 appeal cases from the decision of the Supreme Court have been heard before the Judicial Committee sitting in Mauritius itself.
The Judiciary The Judiciary is vested with power to administer justice in the country and is independent of the Executive and Legislature as provided by the Constitution. Mauritius has a single-structured judicial system consisting of the Supreme Court and subordinate courts. The Supreme Court has the same original jurisdiction as the High Court in England and is vested with all necessary powers and authority to exercise its equitable jurisdiction as a Court of Equity. The final court of Appeal of Mauritius is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In 2008 and 2010 appeal cases from the decision of the Supreme Court have been heard before the Judicial Committee sitting in Mauritius itself.
Legal System Mauritius enjoys a hybrid legal system. The country’s legal system is based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas. The procedural law in criminal and civil litigation is mainly in English while the substantive law is mainly based on the French Napoleonic code.