The Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies (IJLS) is set up under the Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies Act 2011 - which came into effect on 1st October 2011. Section 4 of the act sets out the objectives of the Institute which are as follows:
(a) promote proficiency and ensure the maintenance of standards in the Judiciary, among law practitioners and legal officers, and generally in the delivery of Court services;
(b) foster continuing judicial and legal education;
(c) promote international exchanges and co-operation with other jurisdictions in the field of judicial and legal studies;
(d) promote transparency and consistency in the sentencing of offenders, and the award of civil damages, by making recommendations, annually, to the Chief Justice for the issue of guidelines
Section 5 of the Act calls upon the IJLS to
(a) conduct or supervise courses, seminars or workshops for the continuing training of judicial and legal officers;
(b) devise, organise and conduct Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes, for law practitioners and courses for prospective judicial and legal officers and law practitioners who qualified as such in a state other than Mauritius;
(c) identify areas of need and interest where specialised knowledge is required, and promote and co-ordinate research and development in the judicial and legal sectors;
(d) establish areas of co-operation and linkages with local, regional and international bodies in the judicial and legal sectors.
The affairs of the IJLS are administered and managed by a Board.
Pursuant to Section 9 of the Law Practitioners Act 2011, the Institute shall devise, organise and conduct Continuing Professional Development Programmes for each of the three branches of the legal profession with a view to broadening the knowledge of law practitioners and legal officers, keeping them abreast of developments in the law, encouraging them to share experiences and enhancing their professional skills.
Under the Judicial and Legal Studies (Continuing Professional Development Programme) Regulations 2012, every law practitioner and legal officer must participate in CPD Programmes organised by the IJLS for not less than 12 hours during every academic year, and pay a yearly fee in that respect. The Regulations also provide that out of the 12 compulsory CPD hours, at least 2 CPD hours must be earned for courses on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
Since its inception, the IJLS has organised a number of courses and workshops for the Judiciary and for the three branches of the legal profession in Mauritius. The courses are conducted by members of the legal profession, judiciary, experts, academia, foreign faculty invited by the Institute. For the first academic year from 3rd September, 2012 to 30th August 2013, the IJLS conducted 63 CPD courses totalling 182 CPD hours for the law practitioners, 6 seminars for judges of the Supreme Court, 6 workshops for magistrates and 3 full day courses for court administrators. Details regarding number of CPD courses conducted (2015-2019) may be downloaded here.
Pursuant to section 9C (2) of the Law Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2011, the IJLS is also under an obligation to devise induction courses for those who wish to be considered for appointment as a Judge, a Magistrate or a legal officer. In the first academic year, the IJLS organised one such induction course and in the second academic year, the IJLS will be organising two induction courses.
Pursuant to section 5A(6)(a) of the Law Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2011, the IJLS is under an obligation to devise induction courses for those prospective barristers who hold professional qualifications from foreign jurisdictions recognised by the law, before they can be called to the bar in Mauritius. In the first academic year, the IJLS organised one such induction course for prospective barristers and in the second academic year, the IJLS will be organising two such induction courses for prospective barristers.