Historical Background

Mauritius is a sovereign democratic state and is a member of the United Nations, of the Commonwealth and of the Francophonie. Historically, Mauritius basically remained an uninhabited island until the 17th century when it was colonised firstly by the Dutch, then by the French and subsequently by the British.

Mauritius was under French rule until 1814 when it became British, but still kept its French laws and customs. Whilst the substantive laws, e.g. the Civil Code, the Criminal Code and the Commercial Code remained French, the English judges presiding in the Mauritian courts preferred English procedure, which was familiar to them. Thus historically, English law gradually grafted itself on French law to supplement the former. More modern legislation in the fields of company, banking, finance, offshore, taxation, shipping and intellectual property are of English origin.

In 1968, Mauritius became independent and the country became a Republic within the British Commonwealth in 1992. Parliament enacts the laws and in specific cases, the power is delegated to Ministers to make regulations.