Mauritius, new chief justice
Mr Asraf Caunhye was appointed Chief Justice , at the State House. He was also elevated to the rank of Grand Officer of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GOSK) following his swearing-in in presence of the President, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, and the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, as well as other personalities.
In a statement to the Government Information Service, Mr Asraf Caunhye said he was very honoured by the appointment. He underlined that many challenges await him and he will get down to work immediately. He also pointed out that the strength of the judiciary lies in its team.
Appointed as barrister and solicitor in 1976, Mr Caunhye was educated at the Council of Legal Education, London, and the Middle Temple, London, United Kingdom. Since March 2019, he has been practising as a Senior Puisne Judge at the Supreme Court.
From 1976 to 1982, he practised as a barrister at the Mauritian Bar and served as District Magistrate and Senior District Magistrate between 1982 and 1986.
From 1986, he was attached to the Attorney-General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice as Senior and Principal State Counsel. From 1994 to 1998, Mr Caunhye was the Assistant Solicitor-General and became one of the main legal advisers to the Government, with special responsibility for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Law.
In addition, as Parliamentary Counsel from 1998 to 2001, he was the head of the legal drafting department responsible for the drafting of legislation for Parliament. During the same period, he also acted as Solicitor-General and Director of Public Prosecutions on various occasions.
In May 2001, he was appointed as judge of the Supreme Court. He is also a member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 2018 to 2022.
The appointment of Mr Asraf Caunhye as Chief Justice will bring about changes in the judiciary. Ms Nalini Matadeen will succeed him as Senior Puisne Judge. Judge Rehana-Mungly Gulbul, who sits in the Commercial Court, will be propulsed as the number 3 Judge.
Mr Asraf Caunhye has succeeded Mr Eddy Balancy who has retired.