News on Sunday

National Assembly: Modernisation of the Judiciary

Ravi Rutnah, MP for the Riviere du Rempart constituency, wants to know of the possibility to modernise the Judiciary and a review of recruitment of law officers. The Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, replied that the appointment of Judges, Magistrates and Law Officers, including officers of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, is governed by the provisions of sections 77, 85 and 86 of the Constitution.

According to section 77 (1) of the Constitution, the Chief Justice is appointed by the President, acting after consultation with the Prime Minister, while section 77 (2) provides that the Senior Puisne Judge shall be appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Chief Justice. The Puisne Judges are appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.  The power to appoint Judicial and Legal Officers, including Magistrates, is vested in the Judicial and Legal Service Commission by virtue of section 86 of the Constitution.  

“The House will be aware that this mode of appointment obtained in many Commonwealth countries has, so far, indisputably preserved the independence of our institutions such as the Judiciary, the Attorney-General’s Office and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” said Sir Anerood Jugnauth.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Mackay Report suggested some reforms to the composition of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, it is considered that the present arrangements with regard to the mode of appointment of Judges and Magistrates have stood the test of time and has served us well since independence, added the Prime Minister.

“Government therefore does not propose to bring any change concerning the composition of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission or to the mode of appointment of Judges and law officers without carrying out consultations with all stakeholders, including the Judiciary,” he said.

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