Consumer law and policy in Africa: The mauritian mixed system case study
Rajendra Parsad Gunputh, Sameerchand Pudaruth
Mauritian law is a mixed or hybrid system where both French law and English law prevail on the small island nation after more than three centuries of colonialism but the quantum of each law differs from one substantial law to another. In other words, civil law and criminal law are French based because the substantive law is found in the Civil Code (CCM) and the Penal Code respectively both of French inspiration. The Code de Commerce is not a proper Code per se as it only compiles various legislations, protocols and conventions coupled with some very few articles on traders and some sociétés commerciales of French inspiration but otherwise the law of company is governed by The Companies Act inspired from the New Zealand Act 1995. There are Acts of Parliament (infra) which are in the form of statutes but most of them are inspired from English Law and legislations. However, nothing prevents the Mauritian legislator to borrow foreign legislations apart from France and England to implement them as our domestic law. Thus, consumer law in Mauritius is good hybrid of French and English Law. In the absence of any key legislation on the sales of goods relevant provisions on consumer law such as, inter alia, transfer of goods, risks and liability of debtor or creditor is found in the Civil Code (CCM) but the Supreme Court of Mauritius inspires from strong binding precedents of the House of Lords and/or Cour de cassation to enlighten its own decisions provided the law is the same or whenever there is similarity in UK and Mauritian legislations which is very often the case, or when articles of the French Civil Code and Mauritian Civil Code are the same. This article enlightens consumer law and policy in Mauritius in various aspects of product safety and liability, transfer of goods or perishable goods.