Find Legal expertise in Trinidad and Tobago
- Legal System
English Common Law forms the basis of the legal system in Trinidad and Tobago. The highest legal power is the Supreme Court of Judicature followed by the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal. In some cases appeals may be taken to the UK’s Privy Council. Smaller courts include courts of summary jurisdiction and petty civil courts which are presided over by magistrates. Criminal cases are dealt with in the courts of summary jurisdiction and less serious cases in the petty civil courts. The President appoints the Chief Justice and judges of the Supreme Court.
A practicing lawyer is styled attorney-at-law. To practice as an attorney-at-law a person must have attained a law degree from a recognised university and have acquired a legal education certificate obtained after a two-year course at law school. To standardise legal education in the Caribbean region the governments of Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are members of the Council of Legal Education (CLE). The CLE has three law schools in the region, one of which, the Hugh Wooding Law School, is based in Trinidad and Tobago. Qualifications attained through the Law Society of England and Wales and General Council of the Bar of England and Wales are considered acceptable. Lawyers from Commonwealth countries can practice if they have attained ten years of experience in a Commonwealth country. There are numerous legal practices throughout the country, major firms include Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan, M. Hamel-Smith & Co., JD Sellier & Co., Johnson, Camacho & Singh, Lex Caribbean, MG Daly & Partners and Pollonais, Blanc, de la Bastide & Jacelon
The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago is the main professional body operating in the country and has some statutory powers, in particular relating to its membership. The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago is also part of the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations (OCCBA). This comprises Anguilla, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and the Cayman Islands. The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago was also an institutional member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (2009/2010).
Information from the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013
Legal rights index
Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes
Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regulations
Property rights (including financial assets)
Intellectual property protection