Date:March 05, 2013
Persona: Citizen; Government
GIS - 5 Mar 2013:The Judiciary bears in mind that the Constitution is a living and breathing document which aims to regulate past, present and future generations. There is a perpetual process of change in human affairs. Society evolves on norms and ethics keep changing. The Judiciary must be alive to this dynamism of change and keep pace with it, said Chief Justice Sik Yuen yesterday during his inaugural talk at the Sir Harilall Vaghjee Hall,
Port Louis, to celebrate Law Day in Mauritius.
Chief Justice Sik Yuen talk focused on Democracy: The rule of law and covered the following aspects: the ideal of democracy; the issue of human rights under the Constitution; separation of powers and independence of the judiciary: a look at Mauritian jurisprudence; the reverse side of the coin; civil and political rights versus economic, social and cultural rights; the Rule of Law and Democracy; Meaning of the Rule of Law; Judicial Review and Judicial Activism – the Mauritian brand; and What next in Mauritian constitutionalism.
Our Constitution is framed in a language that allows for the dynamics of the law to vision the future with a strong anchorage on the present and the past, whether in principles, doctrines or fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizen. This, by itself provides scope for the judiciary to reason out, by means of some judicious activism such solutions and remedies that become necessary as society and its mores change, said Chief Justice Sik Yuen.
It cannot be gainsaid that the Mauritian Judiciary has constructed itself and the legal and judicial system of the country on the concept of democracy, the rule of law and the doctrine of the separation of powers. The Legislature is the Law maker, but the Judiciary is called upon to check the constitutional compliance of all laws whenever these are tested in Court. Judicial activism as applied in certain countries whereby the judiciary is perceived as “making laws” by judicial interpretation is not well considered in Mauritius, underlined Chief Justice Sik Yuen.
A wide picture of society must be set so that the law is interpreted and applied to ensure its benefits to society at large. The law need therefore to be interpreted purposively and not within a fixed or frozen time frame. Whether the present judiciary has achieved these goals and in what measures must be left for history to judge. That process is called “judging the judges!” he pointed out.
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