When Mauritius was a Dutch colony, there was no administration of justice, so to speak, on the island. All powers were vested with the Governor. Mauritius afterwards became a French Colony known as L’ile de France in 1721. There was immediately a temporary council “Conseil Provisoire” which dealt with all civil and criminal matters.

In 1723, a “Conseil Provincial” was set up by Royal Decree. It was a court of First Instance dealing with civil and criminal matters with an appeal lying to the “Conseil Superieur de Bourbon”.

In 1734, a “Conseil Superieur” was set up by Royal Decree and it replaced the “Conseil Provincial.”
In 1771, a two-tier jurisdiction was introduced with the creation of a “Juridiction Royale which heard cases at First Instance and the “Conseil Superieur” being a court of higher instance. As a result of the French Revolution, the “Juridiction Royale” and the “Conseil Superieur” were renamed “Tribunal de Première Instance” and “Tribunal d’Appel” respectively.

Before the Revolution, an appeal against decisions of the “Conseil Superieur” lied to the king “en Conseil d’Etat.” After the Revolution, appeals lied to “la Cour de Cassation.”

In 1810, Mauritius became a British colony, it was proclaimed that the prevailing judicial institutions would be kept and maintained. However justice would be delivered in the name of His Majesty and parties would have a right to appeal to His Majesty’s Council provided the subject matter involved exceeded 4000 piastres.

As time went by, a reform of the judicial system was carried out. In 1845, it was decreed that French would be abolished as the ordinary language used in court as from 15.7.1847. In 1850, a bill abolishing “la Cour de Première Instance” and establishing a Supreme Court in lieu of “la Cour d’Appel” was presented to the government. The bill was approved in 1851 but the right to appeal to the “Judicial Committee of the Privy Council” was maintained. Mauritius therefore had once more a one-tier jurisdiction.

Gradually Mauritius returned to a two-tier jurisdiction with the establishment of a Bail court presided by one Judge of the Supreme Court, of District Courts presided by a Magistrate with a right of appeal to the Bail Court and of the jurisdiction of the Judge sitting in Chambers with a right of appeal to a two-Judge Court. At a later stage, the Intermediate Court and the Industrial Court were also established.​
 
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