Judicial System of Trinidad and Tobago

Supreme court: Supreme Court of Judicature

Ministry: Legal Affairs

The justice system is based on English common law. The Supreme Court of Judicature comprises the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal and has establishments in Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago. The Court of Appeal is presided over by the chief justice and hears appeals from the High Court and magistrates’ courts. In some circumstances appeals may be made to the UK’s Privy Council.

The courts of summary criminal jurisdiction and petty civil courts are presided over by magistrates. The courts of summary jurisdiction deal with criminal cases, and the petty civil courts with the less serious civil cases.

The chief justice and judges of the Supreme Court (36 in 2013) are appointed by the President of the republic, consulting with the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition in respect of the chief justice, and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, in respect of the other judges.