About Mauritius


History


  • The Republic of Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, is situated some 2,000 km off the south-eastern coast of Africa. It covers an area of approximately 1,865 sq km.

  • The Portuguese discovered the island in 1505 and the first settlers were the Dutch who named the island after their ruler Prince Maurice van Nassau. The island was then inhabited by the French and later by the British from 1810 until 1968 when it gained its independence. Mauritius is a member of the Commonwealth even though it became a Republic in 1992.

  • The Republic of Mauritius is situated mid-way between Europe and the Far East, being four hours ahead of GMT and four hours behind the Far East

  • The Republic of Mauritius has a sub-tropical climate and its volcanic origin created a landscape with a range of mountains, rivers,tropical forests and with a central plateau of about 400 meters above sea level.

  • Temperatures vary from season to season with an average temperature of 27°C from October to May whilst the winter months, temperatures average around 20°C. With a sub-tropical climate, there is sunshine all year round with little differences in temperature from summer (average 27° C) to winter (average 22° C). The middle of the island, the central plateau is more humid and cooler than the coastal regions.

Population


Mauritius has a population of 1.2 million people and most of the inhabitants constitute descendants of immigrants principally of Indian, African, European, and Chinese origin. Its blend of cultures creates a unique environment of multicultural community. Most Mauritians are bilingual. Whilst English is the official language, French and Creole are widely spoken daily. There are also many oriental languages such as Hindi, Mandarin and Urdu spoken and taught at school.

Political Structure


The Republic of Mauritius is a politically stable country, having a democratic system of government since its independence in 1968, with an elected government every five years. It has a system of parliamentary democracy which ensures the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judiciary. Whilst the President is the Head of State, full executive power rests with the Prime Minister who is the head of Government of the Republic of Mauritius. His constitutional power allows him to advise the President to appoint or remove Ministers, otherwise, the Members of Parliament are elected every five years by popular vote.

Legal System


The legal system of Mauritius combines both civil and common law and the right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England is preserved. The ultimate court of appeal is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England.
During the period of French rule, the island’s legal system was governed by the French Napoleonic Code. While private law is largely based on the Napoleonic Code, public and administrative law draws essentially from English common law.