Promoting the Effectiveness of Democracy Protection Institutions in Southern Africa The Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission of Mauritius

"This report, commissioned by EISA is an assessment of two democracy protection institutions (DPIs) in Mauritius, namely the Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The report examines the Ombudsman, whose role and functions are entrenched in the Constitution. The Ombudsman, which is an independent institution, though it is wholly financed by government funds, receives complaints about malpractice and the failure of public officers to deal with the needs of the public. Both our own knowledge of the Ombudsman Office and popular perception make it clear that the Constitution provides sufficient guarantees that the institution is free from external pressures, particularly from political pressure. However, the Ombudsman is subject to some regulatory constraints, such as its inability to investigate public institutions, among them the presidency and its officers and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions(DPP). The Ombudsman also has no power to prosecute contraveners and can only refer such cases to the DPP."