Spent convictions in Mauritius: Analysing the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill, 2013
Mujuzi, Jamil Ddamulira
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For many years courts in Mauritius have considered a conviction that was at least 10 years old to be spent for the purpose of sentencing. However, in 2002 the Mauritian Supreme Court held that there was no concept of spent convictions in Mauritian law and that disregarding convictions of 10 years or over old was a mere practice. The Supreme Court has not developed clear guidelines for considering or disregarding such convictions for the purpose of sentencing. In 2013 a Bill was gazetted, inter alia, to introduce the concept of spent convictions in Mauritius. This article highlights the Mauritian case law on spent convictions and the relevant clause of the Bill. The author relies on legislation from, inter alia, South Africa, Australia, Seychelles and Jamaica to suggest how the Mauritian law on spent convictions could be improved.