Mauritius has a ‘hybrid’ legal system, combining both the civil and common law practices. Its legal system is governed by principles derived both from the French Code Napoléon and the British common law. This legal hybridity does not only make legal research complex and time consuming but also affects the rate at which cases are decided and judgments are delivered. To address both the limited access to large repositories of legal data and the constraints faced by the Mauritius Judiciary in terms of resources, budget, labour and time, we have developed an information retrieval system to assist in the retrieval of legal documents. The database contains around a thousand acts and judgements of the Supreme Court of Mauritius for the years 1968-2017. The information retrieval engine allows queries to be formulated in natural language. It offers a unique bilingual feature where queries can be entered in French and results are displayed from both English and French documents and vice versa. The system is adapted to help users to decide which of the retrieved documents are most likely to convey their retrieval needs, firstly by ranking the documents in descending order of relevance
and secondly by displaying relevant sections from relevant statutes. This research project contributed to the benefit of the society considering that the information retrieval system is freely accessible and requires no formal training to use. It would be helpful to laypersons, law students, scholars, legal research assistants and legal professionals such as lawyers, attorneys, notaries who may have different information retrieval needs.