Mauritius
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1968
Last Amended 2001
Source National Assembly of the Republic of Mauritius
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 3: Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual

It is hereby recognized and declared that in Mauritius there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, each and all of the following human rights and fundamental freedoms�
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression, of assembly and association and freedom to establish schools; and
(c) the right of the individual to protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
and the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of those rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.


Article 6: Protection from slavery and forced labor

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labor.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the expression �forced labor'� does not include�
(a) any labor required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;
(b) labor required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;
(c) any labor required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, any labor that person is required by law to perform in place of such service; or
(d) any labor required during a period of public emergency or in the event of any other emergency or calamity that threatens the life or well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labor is reasonably justifiable, in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that other emergency or calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation.


Article 11: Protection of freedom of conscience

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section, that freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(2) Except with his own consent (or, if he is a minor, the consent of his guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion that he does not profess.
(3) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from making provision for the giving, by persons lawfully in Mauritius, of religious instruction to persons of that community or denomination in the course of any education provided by that community or denomination.
(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath that is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner that is contrary to his religion or belief.
(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision�
(a) in the interests of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion or belief without the unsolicited intervention of persons professing any other religion or belief,
except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under its authority is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.


Article 14: Protection of freedom to establish schools

(1) No religious denomination and no religious, social, ethnic or cultural association or group shall be prevented from establishing and maintaining schools at its own expense.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision�
(a) in the interests of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for regulating such schools in the interests of persons receiving instruction in them,
except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under its authority is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
(3) No person shall be prevented from sending to any such school a child of whom that person is parent or guardian by reason only that the school is not a school established or maintained by the Government.
(4) In subsection (3), 'child' includes a stepchild and a child adopted in a manner recognized by law, and 'parent' shall be construed accordingly.


Article 16: Protection from discrimination

(1) Subject to subsections (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to subsections (6), (7) and (8), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting in the performance of any public function conferred by any law or otherwise in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(3) In this section, "discriminatory'' means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, caste, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages that are not accorded to persons of another such description.
�(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to race, caste, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, any office in the service of a local authority or any office in a body corporate established directly by any law for public purposes.


Article 89: Appointment of public officers

(1) Subject to this Constitution, power to appoint persons to hold or act in any offices in the public service (including power to confirm appointments), to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting such offices and to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Public Service Commission.
(2) (a) The Public Service Commission may, subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, delegate any of its powers under this section by directions in writing to any Commissioner of the Commission or to any public officer.
(b) The Public Service Commission may, subject to such conditions as it may prescribe, delegate by directions in writing, its powers under this section to enquire and report to it�
(i) in the case of any professional misconduct or negligence committed by a public officer in the performance of his duties, to any appropriate statutory disciplinary body;
(ii) in the case of a public officer who has been seconded for duty or transferred to a body corporate established by law for public purposes, to that body corporate.
(3) This section shall not apply to�
�(f) any ecclesiastical office;


First Schedule

3. Communities

(1) Every candidate for election at any general election of members of the Assembly shall declare in such manner as may be prescribed which community he belongs to and that community shall be stated in a published notice of his nomination.
(2) Within 7 days of the nomination of any candidate at an election, an application may be made by an elector in such manner as may be prescribed to the Supreme Court to resolve any question as to the correctness of the declaration relating to his community made by that candidate in connection with his nomination, in which case the application shall (unless withdrawn) be heard and determined by a Judge of the Supreme Court, in such manner as may be prescribed, within 14 days of the nomination, and the determination of the Judge shall not be subject to appeal.
(3) For the purposes of this Schedule, each candidate at an election shall be regarded as belonging to the community to which he declared he belonged at his nomination as such or, if the Supreme Court has held in proceedings questioning the correctness of his declaration that he belongs to another community, to that other community, but the community to which any candidate belongs for those purposes shall not be stated upon any ballot paper prepared for those purposes.
(4) For the purposes of this Schedule, the population of Mauritius shall be regarded as including a Hindu community, a Muslim community and a Sino-Mauritian community; and every person who does not appear, from his way of life, to belong to one or other of those 3 communities shall be regarded as belonging to the General Population, which shall itself be regarded as a fourth community.


Third Schedule

Oath of Allegiance

I,............, do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Mauritius according to law. (So help me God).


Oath for the Due Execution of the Office of Prime Minister or Other Minister or Junior Minister

I, ............, being appointed Prime Minister/Minister/Junior Minister, do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will to the best of my judgment, at all times when so required, freely give my counsel and advice to the President (or any other person for the time being lawfully performing the functions of that office) for the good management of the public affairs of Mauritius, and I do further swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will not on any account, at any time whatsoever, disclose the counsel, advice, opinion or vote of any particular Minister or Junior Minister and that I will not, except with the authority of the Cabinet and to such extent as may be required for the good management of the affairs of Mauritius, directly or indirectly reveal the business or proceedings of the Prime Minister/Minister/Junior Minister or any matter coming to my knowledge in my capacity as such and that in all things I will be a true and faithful Prime Minister/Minister/Junior Minister. (So help me God).


Judicial Oath

I,............, do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will well and truly serve Mauritius and the Constitution in the office of Chief Justice/Judge of the Supreme Court and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of Mauritius without fear or favor, affection or ill will. (So help me God).

Sources

1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.