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New Chief Justice Asraf Caunhye takes oath at State House

An oath swearing-in ceremony took place this morning at the State House following the appointment of Senior Puisne Judge Asraf Caunhye as new Chief Justice, after former C.J Eddy Balancy retired. The new Chief Justice has also been made Grand Officer of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GOSK) by the President of the Republic, H.E Prithvirajsing Roopun.

Mr Asraf Caunhye started his career as a barrister in 1976 after being called to the Bar at Middle Temple. He practised in Mauritius from 1976 to 1982 and then joined the judiciary as District Magistrate until 1986.

He then joined the Attorney General’s Office as Senior and Principal State Counsel. From 1994 to 1998 he was Assistant Solicitor-General. Between 1998 and 2001, he was Parliamentary Counsel and contributed to the drafting of legislations. He was then promoted Solicitor-General and also served as Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He was appointed as Supreme Court judge in 2001 and became Senior Puisne Judge in March 2019.

Asraf Caunhye is also a member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights since 2018. In a statement to the press, the new Chief Justice said that he is much honoured at this appointment and he will start working immediately. He reminded about the various challenges awaiting, especially in these difficult times. He added that the strength of the judiciary lies in its team.

As a result of his appointment, Mrs Nalini Matadeen is now Senior Puisne Judge while Mrs Rehana-Mungly-Gulbul is the third in line in the judicial hierarchy.

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