If it is possible to challenge certain bills before they are voted on in the National Assembly, in particular, by resorting to an injunction, in the case of the Financial Crimes Commission Bill, this will not be possible. This bill goes to first reading in the National Assembly this Tuesday, December 5.
“Although on paper it is possible to use an injunction to challenge the introduction of a piece of legislation, this is however done in exceptional cases. For example, if there were constitutional constraints or abuse,” explains a Senior Counsel to RadioPlus.
“But that has never been the case, and in the case of the Financial Crimes Commission it is not the case,” he said.
Thus, the only valid recourse would be to take the matter to the Supreme Court once the law is enacted. However, the big question is whether certain clauses of the Financial Crimes Commission are unconstitutional or not.
For example, is only the Director of Public Prosecutions authorized to institute criminal proceedings?
In the meantime, the debates in the National Assembly, the Financial Crimes Commission Bill is currently being examined by members of the Mauritius Bar Association. They will have to submit their arguments collectively.
On the opposition side, lawyers from the three main political parties, namely the PTr, the MMM and the PMSD, are carefully scrutinizing this bill before deciding on the course of action. An announcement should be made this Thursday by the three leaders.
You should know that challenging a law in court can take several years.