Sources of Law

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3/25/2010



Every lawyer needs to know where to find the Law, in relation to a particular issue, when he needs it. Hence, it is vital for the lawyer operating in a specific legal system to know what the sources of law are in that system.



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Material Sources of Law Formal

Historical Legislation Case-Law Custom

Legislation

A body of binding rules of Law

Constitution

Primary Legislation

Subsidiary Legislation

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THE CONSTITUTION

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Supreme Law of the Land Section 2 of the Constitution:
“This Constitution is the supreme law of Mauritius, and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”





The Supreme Court is the guardian of the Constitution It is empowered to strike down any enactment that is unconstitutional e.g. Mahboob v Govt of Mauritius (1982) MR 135





The Constitution organises the institutional life of the state by creating the most important institutions of the State, together with the framework for their effective co-existence. It embodies the concept of “Separation of Powers” by setting out the functions of the 3 organs of the State. It enshrines a Bill of Rights to safeguard basic human rights of the individual in its Chapter II





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The supremacy of the Constitution however is not absolute. It may be amended with the support of a “qualified majority”. Section 47 of the Constitution permits the National Assembly to alter the Constitution.



(1) Subject to this section, Parliament may alter this Constitution. (2) A Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter any of the following provisions of this Constitution (a) this section; (b) sections 28 to 31, 37 to 46, 56 to 58 other than 57(2), 64, 65, 71, 72 and 108; (c) Chapters II, VII, VIII and IX; (d) the First Schedule, and (e) Chapter XI, to the extent that it relates to any of the provisions specified in paragraphs (a) to (d), shall not be passed by the Assembly unless it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly by the votes of not less than three quarters of all the members of the Assembly.

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(3) A Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter the provisions of section 1 or 57(2) shall not be passed by the Assembly unless – (a) the proposed Bill has before its introduction in the Assembly been submitted, by referendum, to the electorate of Mauritius and has been approved by the votes of not less than three quarters of the electorate; (b) it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly by the votes of all the members of the Assembly. (4) A Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter any provision of this Constitution (but which does not alter any of the provisions of this Constitution as specified in subsection (2)) shall not be passed by the Assembly unless it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the Assembly.



The Test of Section 47



The Test of Section 1
Cases of :

Police v Khoyratty (2004) MR 137 State v Khoyratty PCA No 59 of 2004

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(1) (3A)

No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save as may be authorised by law -… (a) Notwithstanding subsection (3), where a person is arrested or detained for an offence related to terrorism or a drug offence, he shall not, in relation to such offences related to terrorism, or drug offences, as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament, be admitted to bail until the final determination of the proceedings brought against him, where (i) (ii) he has already been convicted of an offence related to terrorism or a drug offence; or he is arrested or detained for an offence related to terrorism or a drug offence during the period that he has been released on bail after he has been charged with having committed an offence related to terrorism or a drug offence....
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