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The Constitution Mauritius has a constitution in place which was enacted in 1968, even though it may be amended from

time to time. Mauritius became a republic in 1992 but many of its laws have been inspired by British rule such as its criminal procedure act, bail act, the judges rule and police act. Mauritius has laws besides the constitution which still reflect colonial rule and which have not been altered after independence. This colonial legacy may have inspired the adoption of human rights practices but nevertheless it is imperative that Mauritius adopts its own legislation which simultaneously abides by international human rights standards and caters to the countrys unique needs. Many of the Commonwealth countries constitutions also have clauses and safeguards designed to control police powers, to prohibit arbitrary arrest and to protect the dignity and integrity of arrested and detained persons. Mauritius, for example, has clauses in its constitution which specifically provide the opportunity for individuals to seek compensation: In Mauritius any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained by any other person shall be entitled to compensation from that other person. The Mauritian Constitution also contains a section prohibiting detention without trial, but it may be open to abuse in that it does not stipulate the maximum amount of time a person may be detained before appearing in court, instead stating that a person should be brought before court without undue delay. This may be interpreted differently depending on a number of issues. Police Act All of the Southern African Commonwealth countries have laws aimed at the police. These police laws usually provide for organisational, disciplinary and administrative control of the police. Mauritius has a police act which was created and enacted a long time ago during colonial rule. The Mauritian police act of 1974 is, however, outdated and in need of a redraft. Criminal Procedure Act Mauritius has a criminal procedure and evidence laws which deals with the correct procedures for making arrests, using search warrants and seizing property, amongst other things. Ombudsman Mauritius has an Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is usually a public official of a high level, is impartial and independent of the government and is appointed by parliament. The Ombudsmans duties are similar throughout the Commonwealth in that the Ombudsman can investigate complaints against government agencies and / or officials (including the police) as well as statutory corporations and / or officials and employees of such organisations and make recommendations and issue reports. Investigations, which may not be restricted or interfered with by any person,

may include power abuses, human rights violations, corruption, maladministration and so forth. The Ombudsman has powers conferred upon him / her to perform these investigations and all are expected to assist the Ombudsman in the enquiry. The Judiciary Mauritius has Judges Rules which regulate the way in which statements are recorded and presented as evidence in court. The Judges Rules also provide the police with the correct procedure to deal with arrested persons such as informing the detained person of his / her rights and allowing him / her legal counsel. Human Rights Commission Mauritius has a human rights commission, which is responsible for the investigation of human rights violations. The Mauritian National Human Rights Commission is specifically authorised to investigate complaints against the police; it oversees a formal police complaints system which is run by the police, and may visit police stations and prisons to observe the conditions in which detained persons are held.