(Mauritius) Dockworkers and the Ports Authority, submitted their wage dispute to binding arbitration. The award granted a substantial wage increase which the workers then sought to have enforced. The government, brought in legislation allowing the Attorney General to object to the award’s enforcement.
Held: Section 3 of the constitution of Mauritius is an enacting section, not a mere preamble or introduction. The more detailed later sections (section 8) did not curtail the ambit of section 3, and the Board held that: ‘A Constitution concerned to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual should not be narrowly construed in a manner which produces anomalies and inexplicable inconsistencies.’
Lord Templeman: ‘Prior to the Amendment Act the appellants were entitled to an order of the court making the award executory and enforceable and each relevant employee was entitled to sue the MMA for, and to recover, the difference between the salary and allowances in fact paid to him and the salary and allowances to which he was entitled pursuant to the award during the duration of the award. The Amendment Act has thus deprived and was intended to deprive each worker of a chose in action, namely the right to sue for and recover damages for breach by the MMA of its contract of employment.
Section 3 of the Constitution of Mauritius recognises and declares inter alia the right of the individual to protection from deprivation of property without compensation. The Board have already determined in connection with the contemporaneous case of Societe United Docks v Government of Mauritius that the protection afforded by section 3 is not confined to property which has been compulsorily taken possession of or compulsorily acquired within the meaning of section 8. The appellants rightly complained on behalf of the workers employed by the MMA that the workers had been deprived of property, namely their right to sue for and recover damages for breach by the MMA of its contract of employment, contrary to section 3 of the Constitution.’ and ‘It suffices that the Amendment Act was a coercive Act of the government which alone deprived and was intended to deprive the appellants of property without compensation and thus infringed the Constitution.’
 AC 585
Cited – Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Port Louis and Others v Suttyhudeo Tengur and Others PC 3-Feb-2004
PC (Mauritius) A father challenged the constitutionality of a system where 50% of places in Catholic run secondary schools were allocated to Catholic childen, and fifty per cent according to merit. He feared this . .
Cited – Matadeen and others v M G C Pointu and others (Mauritius) PC 18-Feb-1998
It is a well recognised canon of construction that domestic legislation, including the Constitution, should if possible be construed so as to conform to international instruments to which the state is party. Lord Hoffmann said: ‘of course persons . .
Cited – Naidike, Naidike and Naidike v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 12-Oct-2004
(Trinidad and Tobago) The claimant was arrested following expiry of the last of his work permits and after he had failed to provide evidence of his intention to leave. As he was arrested he was also arrested for assaulting a police officer. He was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.192651