GIS - August 29, 2012: The Law Practitioners (Amendment) Act will come into operation on 3 September and the Rules made by the Chief Justice under Section 27 of the Court Ushers Act will come into operation on 1 September 2012, thus bringing in its wake a drastic change in the legal landscape in Mauritius, stated yesterday the Attorney-General, Mr Yatin Varma during a press conference in Port Louis.
He also announced that Mauritians qualified in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and France can as from 3 September 2012 apply to be admitted as Barristers in Mauritius.
Attorney-General Varma pointed out that the courses to be followed so as to be qualified as a law practitioner are being reviewed and will no longer be run by the Council of Legal Education but by the University of Mauritius or other authorised person. The exams will be conducted by a Vocational Examinations Board which will have representatives of those running the course, the Council for Vocational Legal Education (CVLE).
The Council for Legal Education is being replaced by the Council for Vocational Legal Education and will be responsible for the granting of an authorisation to run the vocational course, supervise vocational courses and organise through the Vocational Examinations Board, examinations for prospective law practitioners and after consultation with the appropriate professional body, draw up and keep under review a list of law practitioners of not less than 15 years’ standing who are able to provide the required amenities and training to be pupil masters.
Pupillage is being reviewed as prospective law practitioners will henceforth need to apply to the CVLE to get pupilage. Pupillage will be monitored with duties on the pupil master to inter alia provide the CVLE with a report and prospective Barristers and Attorneys will be able to appear in court in specific matters after six months’ of pupillage.
Continuing Professional Development will henceforth be compulsory for all law practitioners and legal officers to keep abreast with the latest developments in the law. These will include attendance at lectures, workshops or seminars.
As from 3 September 2012, any person who wishes to be considered for appointment as a Judge, Magistrate or legal officer should follow a course to familiarise himself or herself with the duties she or he will be required to perform in the office to which one wishes to be appointed.
A Mauritian qualified as Barrister in England and Wales, France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia will need to follow an induction course to be conducted by the Institute but there will be no examination.
By virtue of the Court Ushers (Amendment) Act 2011, the profession of usher has been liberalised. It means now we will have ushers in the civil service and also in private practice known as registered ushers.
Any citizen having the necessary qualifications may make a written application to the Chief Justice through the Master and Registrar for appointment as a registered usher.