Mauritius (MU)

Jurisdiction Overview

IDQuestionAnswer
408 *Are all court proceedings on civil tax matters openly accessible to the public, and the public cannot be ordered to leave the court room by invoking tax secrecy, bank secrecy, professional secrecy or comparable confidentiality rules? Unknown
 Data Date: 2019

Notes

 
There are no specific tax courts in Mauritius. Tax litigation cases are generally handled at the Assessment Review Committee (ARC) (which is akin to a tax appeal tribunal) established by the Mauritius Revenue Authority Act No. 33 of 2004 and operates under the Ministry of Finance. The Act provides that "[a] panel may conduct a hearing or a part of it in camera where it considers that publicity would prejudice the interests of justice or that it is necessary or expedient to do so for the protection of the privacy of persons concerned in the proceedings" (Revenue Authority Act No. 33 of 2004, Section 20(2)). It is unclear if privacy can be a reason to exclude the public from proceedings on civil tax matters.
 
Moreover, according to the information provided by Mauritius Ministry of Finance, in the case of District and Intermediate Courts, "S.211 District and Intermediate Courts Act all proceedings before a Court shall be held in public , except for cases covered by s.161A Courts Act" (Communication with Mauritius MInistry of Finance, January 2020). Section 161A of the Courts Act says "161A. Persons may be excluded from proceedings Any judge, Magistrate or other person having by law authority to bear, receive or examine evidence may, where he considers it necessary or expedient - (a) in circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice or of public morality; (b) in order to safeguard the welfare of persons under the age of 18; (c) in order to protect the privacy of persons concerned in the proceedings; (d) in the interests of defence, public safety or public order, exclude from the proceedings (except the announcement of the decision) any person other than the parties to the trial and their legal representatives." (The Courts Act 1945, S.161A).  It is not clear if personal privacy can be a reason for excluding the public of proceedings on criminal tax matters.

Sources

Mauritius Revenue Authority Act 2004, Section 20(2).
 
http://www.mra.mu/download/MRAAct.pdf
 
The Courts Act 1945, S.161A