Tribute to late Jocelyn Serge Forget De Villerfaux, former Chief Justice of Mauritius

Mauritius: The Chief Justice, Rehana Bibi Mungly-Gulbul, paid tribute, on Friday, 26 May, to the late Jocelyn Serge Forget De Villerfaux, Grand Order of the Star and Key of Indian Ocean (G.O.S.K.), former Chief Justice of Mauritius during a ceremony held at the New Supreme Court Building in Port Louis.

Tribute to late Jocelyn Serge Forget De Villerfaux, former Chief Justice of Mauritius
Tribute to late Jocelyn Serge Forget De Villerfaux, former Chief Justice of Mauritius Image credit: Mauritius facebook page

Mauritius: The Chief Justice, Rehana Bibi Mungly-Gulbul, paid tribute, on Friday, 26 May, to the late Jocelyn Serge Forget De Villerfaux, Grand Order of the Star and Key of Indian Ocean (G.O.S.K.), former Chief Justice of Mauritius during a ceremony held at the New Supreme Court Building in Port Louis.

Late Chief Justice Forget De Villerfaux passed away on 05 March 2023 at 90. In her remarks, Chief Justice Mungly-Gulbul highlighted the valuable contribution of the Late Jocelyn Serge Forget De Villerfaux to the Mauritian Judiciary system.

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Forget De Villerfaux, she underlined, will always be remembered as a patient and courteous Judge who served the Judiciary with distinction.

She added that he was imbued with an unflinching sense of fairness, integrity, and impartiality. She also expressed her heartfelt sympathy and condolences to his widow Elizabeth, his daughters, Evelyne, Sonia and Laurence, and his grandchildren.

Born on 19 October 1933, Jocelyn Forget was a Royal College of Curepipe student. He went to study law in the U.K. and was sworn in as a barrister at the Middle Temple in 1958. He joined the Mauritian Bar on 27 July 1959 and was appointed District Magistrate on 01 October 1964.

One significant chapter of his judicial career was serving as Magistrate and Island Commissioner for Rodrigues.

He was in Rodrigues when Mauritius became independent on 12 March 1968. On that day, he had to display much courage and temerity during the testing moments of the flag-raising ceremony in Port Mathurin when he was confronted with a hostile crowd fiercely opposed to independence.

He served as a Magistrate in Rodrigues until 1974. On his return to Mauritius, he continued to serve as a Magistrate at various levels and in 1981, he was appointed Master and Registrar.

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On 28 June 1982, he was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court, and he became Senior Puisne Judge on 18 August 1994. He served as Chief Justice of Mauritius from 05 August 1995 until his retirement on 30 April 1996.

He was a meticulous Judge who would devote great care and attention to analysing and dissecting all factual and legal issues of a case, always anxious to reach a just and fair decision.

Through his numerous judgments, he has made a fair contribution to enriching our jurisprudence.

After his retirement, he continued to serve the country in various capacities. He chaired several commissions in Mauritius and a committee on artisanal fishing and rehabilitation of the lagoon in Rodrigues.

He also served as Chairperson of the Commission on the Prerogative of Mercy from 2004 to 2006 and again from 2008 to 2010.