The Permanent Arbitration Tribunal was set up in 1973, following the enactment of the Industrial Relations Act 1973, which was substantially borrowed, from English Law.
Mauritius became independent in 1968 and the necessity to meet the needs of parties in industrial disputes were more apparent, especially at a time when strikes were a major handicap for the taking-off of a newly independent economy.
Ad Hoc Tribunals were therefore converted into a permanent one.
Mr J. Vallet was appointed the first Presiding Judge of the Tribunal and Mr. G. Desmarais became the first Vice-President.
After the demise of the latter, Mr Balgobin was appointed Vice President before becoming the second Presiding Judge.
The Permanent Arbitration Tribunal was constituted with Mr. Rashid Hossen, as President. The President and Vice-President must qualify for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court.
The sittings of the Tribunal were at Astor Court Building, adjacent to the Supreme Court, in Port Louis.
The number of industrial disputes referred to the Tribunal since its setting up, be it voluntary or compulsory, i.e by the Minister, is around a thousand, covering key economic sectors, like Transport, Customs and Manufacturing. If some 170 cases had been disposed summarily, i.e by agreement of parties, the Tribunal was called to deliver over 400 awards.
In the application of the Industrial Relations Act, 1973 to the Public Service, the functions of the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal were exercised by the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal. The President of the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal was Mr R. Hossen.
The Permanent Arbitration Tribunal and the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal merged as one with the setting up of the Employment Relations Tribunal in February 2009. The President of the Employment Relations Tribunal is Mr. R. Hossen and the Vice-Presidents of the Tribunal are Messrs I Sivaramen and S. Janhangeer.