Case details

Hurnam (1) (Appellant) v The Attorney General and others (Respondents) (Mauritius)

Case ID: JCPC 2016/0037

Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court of Mauritius

Case summary


Whether the Supreme Court Rules 2000 require that no action can be entered into before the Supreme Court of Mauritius except by recourse to an attorney.


The appellant was struck off the Roll of Barristers in connection with a conviction. He sought a court order directing the disciplinary proceedings against him to be re-opened on the grounds that he had been unlawfully and wrongly struck off. He also sought damages from the State of Mauritius for an alleged breach of his constitutional rights.

The appellant filed a motion seeking leave from the Supreme Court of Mauritius to re-open the disciplinary proceedings against him. The legal documents filed by the appellant had been signed by himself. The Attorney General objected to the filing of the motion on the grounds that the Supreme Court Rules 2000 and the Code de Procedure Civile required that the motion be signed by an attorney. The appellant’s motion paper was subsequently certified by an attorney.

The Supreme Court held that the institution of proceedings before the Court required recourse to an attorney. While the Court had a residual discretion to allow a litigant to sue in person where there was a good reason to allow them to do so, there were no exceptional circumstances in the appellant’s case.



Devendranath Hurnam


The Attorney General and others



Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes

Hearing start date

27 Jun 2017

Hearing start date

27 Jun 2017

Watch hearing
27 Jun 2017 Morning session Afternoon session