Constitution of Mauritius

Posted by David Miles on
In the case of Marie Joseph Charles Robert Lesage. The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited (2012 UK PC41) the Privy Council concluded that Article 6 of the European Convention did not guarantee a right of appeal at all.

With regard to section 10 of the Constitution of Mauritius, it held that access to a right of appeal could be restricted by contracting states. The appellant's constitutional right of protection of the law was sufficiently safeguarded by the thoroughness of the examination of the issues in the first instance procedure and by the existence of a right to apply for permission to appeal to the Privy Council.

Where it could be demonstrated that a review of the factual findings were necessary, the Privy Council would be no less willing than would a domestic Court of Appeal to embark upon such an exercise.

In this case, the Chief Justice, acting on his own initiative, decided that having regard to the importance of the case that it be assigned to a two judge court. It appears that the appellant did not become aware of that decision until the day when the hearing was due to begin.

The appellant complained that he was not given the opportunity to make representations on whether the trial should have been held before two judges. It was claimed this was particularly important because, in effect, it removed any right of appeal to a domestic Court of Appeal. There was no provision for appeal from a decision of a two court judge under the local Civil Appeal Act. This point was not taken by the appellant at the time. It could be said that the point was equally of importance to the Respondent who similarly did not make any application.

Blake Morgan acted for the Bank.

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David has acted as a Privy Council agent since 1993. He has conducted many cases from most of the Privy Council jurisdictions.

David Miles
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