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UPDATE: Trinidad and Tobago Law and Legal Research

By Catherine A. Deane and Vincent Moyer

Catherine A. Deane is the Reference/Foreign & International Law Librarian at the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library at Vanderbilt University.  She received her primary and secondary education in Trinidad.  She has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology with a Certificate in Latin American Studies from Princeton University, an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a J.D. with a Certificate in International and Comparative Law from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, and an M.L.I.S. degree from San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science.

Vincent Moyer (B.S., J.D., and M.S. from the University of Illinois) is the Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California.

Published April 2013
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Trinidad and Tobago Legal Research

2. Background and History

                  2.1. Political and Legal History Resources
                  2.2. Basic Country Information Sources

3. Government Structure

4. Executive Branch: The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

4.1. Executive Branch:  Documents

5. Legislative Branch: Parliament – The House of Representatives and the Senate

5.1. Legislative Process: Making Laws
               5.2. Parliament: Structure & Legal Documents
               5.3. The House of Representatives: Structure & Legal Documents
               5.4. The Senate: Structure & Legal Documents
6. The Tobago House of Assembly

7. Judicial Branch: Structure, Decisions, and Other Court Documents
               7.1. The Court Library Services Unit
               7.2. The Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago
8. Constitution

9. Archived Historical Legal Documents

10. Online Legal Information Sources
               10.1. Paid Subscription Law Database
               10.2. Government Legal Information Online
               10.3. Legal Information by Subject

11. Print Sources of Legal Information
               11.1. Law Journals
               11.2. Books

11.3. Selected Subject Bibliography

12. Sources of General Information
               12.1. Statistics and Government Information
               12.2. The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS)
               12.3. The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago (NATT)
               12.4. The Government Information Service Limited (GISL)
               12.5. Newspapers
               12.6. Government News Sources
               12.7. Other News Sources: Trinidad and Tobago Online TV, Radio & Twitter
13. Other Resources
               13.1. Legal Education & Legal Profession
               13.2. Trinidad and Tobago Legal Resource Guides

14. Additional Caribbean Legal Information

 

1. Introduction to Trinidad and Tobago Legal Research

This guide outlines in detail the various resources available for researching the laws and legal system of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.   As a quick introduction, here are key research websites for locating Trinidad and Tobago laws:

 

 

2. Background and History

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, formerly a British colony, is now an independent member of the British Commonwealth. This Caribbean twin island Nation, was originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498 and occupied briefly by the Spanish until it was captured in 1797 by the British, who brought African slaves to Trinidad and later invited Indian indentured laborers to the island.

 

The British ruled Trinidad and Tobago under the Crown Colony System from 1831-1925. Under this system, a Governor advised by a resident legislative council ruled the island for the British government. By 1956, Trinidad and Tobago had established a form of self-government under colonial rule, but it was not until 1976, that Trinidad and Tobago became a self-governing republic.

2.1. Political and Legal History Resources    

·       History of Parliament  

·       History of Local Government 

·       History of Port-of-Spain (The capital of Trinidad and Tobago): Overview of The Port-of-Spain Corporation,  origins of Port-of-Spain (originally posted on the Official Port-of-Spain website), facts about Port-of-Spain, and Port-of-Spain City Corporation Standing Orders (1996).

·       Evolution of a Nation - A series of lectures on bicameralism (2012)

2.2. Basic Country Information Sources

·       Country Profile: Trinidad and Tobago   - BBC News

·       Country Study: Commonwealth of Caribbean Islands: Chapter 3 Trinidad and Tobago – from the Library of Congress Federal Research Division

·       World Factbook: The Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago)  - Prepared by the CIA (U.S.)

·       Country Profile: The Caribbean, Country Profile: Trinidad & Tobago, Travel Advice: Trinidad & Tobago - Prepared by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (U.K.)

·       UN data Trinidad and Tobago  - Country profile statistics

·       Country Profile and Statistics from Thomson Reuters AlertNet

·       Country Profile from the Commonwealth Local Forum (Summary) (Full PDF)

3. Government Structure

The current government structure of Trinidad and Tobago is a parliamentary democracy consisting of the executive branch, made up of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and the legislative branch, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The members of the House of Representatives and the Senate elect the President of Trinidad and Tobago.

Tobago has a separate elected House of Assembly that is responsible for the administration of the island.

National elections occur every five years.

The Judicial branch is a separate branch, led by the Chief Justice. The Trinidad and Tobago Judiciary is made up of the Lower Judiciary (the Magistracy) and the Higher Judiciary (The Supreme Court). The Supreme Court is made up of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The highest court is the Privy Council in England.

·       Basic Information on the System of Government in Trinidad and Tobago - provided by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

·       Diagram of Government Organization Structure - from the Office of the President

·       Organizational Structure of the Government – from the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS)

·       Government System – posted by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum

4. Executive Branch: The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

The executive branch includes the Cabinet, Ministries and Departments of government, statutory authorities and governmental institutions. The Prime Minister is a member of the Cabinet.

 

After an election, the President appoints as Prime Minister the member of the House of Representatives who commands the support of the majority of members of that House.  On the advice of the Prime Minister, the President appoints members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to the Cabinet.

The Cabinet controls the government of Trinidad and Tobago and is responsible to Parliament. They implement the laws passed by Parliament.

 

The Cabinet consists of the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President and other Ministers (of whom one shall be the Attorney General) chosen from among the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

 

The President, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, may assign any Minister responsibility for any business of the government including the administration of any department of government.

 

The functions of the Cabinet are initiating and deciding on policy. The exercise of these functions is initially affected by the fact that the Cabinet is a group of party representatives, depending upon majority support in the House of Representatives.  The Cabinet meets in private and its proceedings are confidential. Normally, Cabinet meets for a few hours once a week and these meetings take place at the Office of the Prime Minister, Whitehall.

 

The Cabinet Secretariat serves Ministers collectively in the conduct of Cabinet business and the co-ordination of policy at the highest level.

 

Ministerial responsibility refers both to the collective responsibility for government policy and actions, which Ministers have and to their individual responsibilities for their departments’ work.

 

The doctrine of collective responsibility means that the Cabinet acts unanimously even when Cabinet Ministers do not all agree on a subject. The individual responsibility of Ministers for the work of their departments means that they are answerable to Parliament for matters pertaining to their departments.

 

·       Office of the Prime Minister - official website

·       The Role of the Cabinet- From NALIS

4.1. Executive Branch: Documents

Many important executive branch legal documents are available on the websites below:

·       Speeches of the Prime Minister

·       Government Ministries

·       Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Includes documents and regulations from the 2011 “State of Emergency”

·       Ministry of Legal Affairs – Includes Laws of Trinidad (Revised December 31, 2009), The Constitution, List of Omitted Acts, Alphabetical List of Acts, and a Classified Table of Chapters.

·       Ministry of Justice – Includes a Document Library, a collection of Legislation Acts (including Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, Dangerous Drugs Act, DNA Act, Domestic Violence Act, Evidence Act, Family Law Act, Firearms Act, Legal Aid and Advice Act, Police Complaints Authority Act, and Probation Offenders Act), a detailed description of the Criminal Justice System, Instructions for Application for the Grant of a Presidential Pardon, Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Brochure, Legal Aid Clinic Brochure, Penal Reform - From Retributive to Restorative Brochure, Prison Rules Policy, and Legal Aid Brochure.  

·       Ministry of the Attorney General

5. Legislative Branch: Parliament – The House of Representatives and the Senate

The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is the legislative branch of the Government. The President, the House of Representatives and the Senate make up Parliament. The President is the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

 

5.1. Legislative Process: Making Laws

A Bill may be initiated in either the House or the Senate. The Bill must pass through both the House and the Senate and must be presented to the President for approval. The President’s assent converts the bill into an Act of the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

The Process of Lawmaking  - Detailed description prepared by the Parliament Secretariat.

5.2. Parliament: Structure & Legal Documents

Although technically the Parliament consists of three parts, the President, the House of Representatives and the Senate, Parliament is still referred to as bicameral because it is divided into the Lower House (House of Representatives) and the Upper House (Senate).  The House of Representatives is made up of 41 elected representatives; the members of the Senate are appointed by the President.

 

The Parliament has the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the Constitution.

·       Parliament of the government of Trinidad and Tobago

·       The Parliament Channel - Streaming video

·       Glossary of Parliamentary Terms

·       History of Parliament

The Office of Parliament provides online access to Trinidad & Tobago bills, acts and laws:

·       Bills - Full-text database of bills browsable by session or alphabetically by name. Also includes information on the members of parliament involved in debating the bills.

·       Acts of Parliament - Full-text database containing Acts of Parliament from 1998 to present hosted by the official website for the Parliament of the government of Trinidad & Tobago.  (Note: CommonLII also has an archive of legislation for 1997-2005.)

·       Laws of Trinidad (Revised edition, 2009) [The Laws of Trinidad are also available at the Law Revision Commission website.]

The Office of the Parliament provides online access to information regarding what occurred during sittings of the House of Representatives and the Senate  between 1990 and the present.

·       Hansard Reports  (Official Reports) - Full-text database covering 1987 to present, containing transcribed reports of what is said in the House and Senate.

The Office of Parliament also provides digital access to other legal publications such as:

·       Standing Orders - Standing Orders are the rules that govern the proceedings in the House of Representatives

·       80th Report of the Salaries Review Commission  

·       Report of the Standing Orders Committee of the House of Representatives (12 September 2007)

·       Strengthening Parliamentary Practices in Trinidad and Tobago

·       Report of the Joint Select Committee - Parliamentary Accommodation

5.3. The House of Representatives: Structure & Legal Documents

The House of Representatives, the elected Lower House, has 41 members, elected every five years. The Speaker of the House may or may not be an elected member of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives may be dissolved prior to the five-year election date by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

·       House of Representatives - Information on the House of Representatives, from the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) website .

For the current session of Parliament, the full-text of multiple versions of Bills and Committee Reports are available online from the House of Representatives:

·       Sittings of the House of Representatives [1987 - current]

·       Progress of Bills Introduced in the House of Representatives in the Current Session of Parliament - Includes various versions of each bill and committee report.

·       Motions Introduced in the House of Representatives - Database contains full-text of House Debate and related Bills. Browsable by Title and Session.

5.4. The Senate: Structure & Legal Documents

The members of the Senate are appointed by the President. Of the 31 members, 16 are Government Senators and are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister. Six (6) are Opposition Senators appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and nine (9) are Independent Senators.  The President is charged with selecting and appointing senators who will be representative of Trinidad and Tobago civil society. The presiding officer is known as the President of the Senate.

For the current session of Parliament, the full-text of multiple versions of Bills and Committee Reports are available online from the Senate:

·       Sittings of the Senate [1987 - current]

·       Progress of Bills Introduced in the Senate in the Current Session of Parliament - Includes various versions of each bill and committee report.

·       Motions Introduced in the Senate [1987-current]

6. The Tobago House of Assembly (THA)

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) first met in 1768, but it was not until 1980 that the first Tobago House of Assembly Act was passed. This Act grants the citizens of Tobago the right of internal self-governance. The new Tobago House of Assembly Act, passed on 1996, granted the THA greater autonomy in political, financial and social issues, but no lawmaking powers. The Presiding Officer is elected by the Assemblymen and presides over all Sittings of the Assembly.   Local elections for the THA take place every 4 years.

 

·       The Tobago House of Assembly - Official Website

·       Powers of the THA

·       Organization of the THA

·       About the Tobago House of Assembly – describes the origins and nature of the THA.

·       Tobago House of Assembly Divisions - Provides links to and information about each of the divisions of the Tobago House of Assembly, including the Office of the Chief Secretary and the Finance & Enterprise Development Division.

·       The Tobago House of Assembly Act, 1996  provided by NALIS

·       NALIS - provides further details about the THA

·       THA Official News Releases – current and archived

 

7. Judicial Branch: Structure, Decisions, and Other Court Documents

The Judicial branch is one of the three separate arms of the State. The head of the judicial branch is the Chief Justice, who has overall responsibility for the administration of justice in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

The highest court is the Privy Council in England.  The Judicial Committee of The Privy Council (JCPC) is the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee.  (See JCPC cases here and in this Privy Council Case Archive) While there has been much debate about cutting links with the Privy Council, on April 25, 2012, Prime Minister the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar released a statement outlining Trinidad and Tobago’s relationship with the Privy Council and the Caribbean Court of Justice [official text of speech]. 

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) - On April 16, 2005, the CCJ was inaugurated at a ceremony in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  (See agreement establishing the CCJ.)  The CCJ has two jurisdictions: an original and an appellate jurisdiction. In its original jurisdiction, it interprets and applies the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (PDF link) which established the Caribbean Community and is an international court with compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in interpreting the Treaty of Chaguaramas.  In its appellate jurisdiction, it hears appeals in both civil and criminal matters from those member states, which have ceased to allow appeals to the JCPC.  The CCJ is not part of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago.  Appeals from the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal go to the Privy Council (JCPC) in England.

The Judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Judicature and the Lower Judiciary (the Magistracy).

The Supreme Court of Judicature for Trinidad and Tobago consists of a High Court of Justice and a Court of Appeal.  Appeals from the Magistracy and the High Court go to the Court of Appeal. The Magistracy and the High Court are courts of original jurisdiction.

The High Court is made up of three divisions: the Matrimonial Division (hears family matters where the partners are married), the Criminal Division (hears indictable criminal matters), and the Civil Division (hears matters involving sums $15,000 and over).

The Magistracy is divided geographically into thirteen districts. The Criminal Division exercises summary jurisdiction in criminal matters and hears preliminary inquiries in indictable matters. The Civil Division hears matters under $15,000.

 

The official website for the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago provides information about:

·       Structure of the Judiciary

·       Brief timeline of legal points of interest

·       List of Chief Justices of Trinidad and Tobago  

Various case law, orders, rules and court documents can be found at these websites:

  • Recent Judgments are available for the current month and for the past 3 years.
  • A 2003-2006 case archive is available here.
  • Cases can be located by searching the Court Library Database. Once you find a catalogue record for the case, many decisions have a “full-text” link.

·       Judgments from the High Court – Selected decisions from 1997-2007 are available at CommonLII.  Decisions from 1997-2008 are archived at the Internet Archive.  High Court decisions can also be searched at the Court Library Database.  

·       Judgments from the Court of Appeal – Selected decisions from 1996-2006 are available at CommonLII.  Decisions from 1997-2008 are archived at the Internet Archive.  High Court decisions can also be searched at the Court Library Database.

·       Consolidated Orders and Rules – Archived at the Internet Archive

·       Supreme Court Rules and Practice Directions

·       Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Current through 12/31/2010) – Includes court rules and procedure

·       Supreme Court Forms – Civil and Probate

·       Family Court Rules and Practice Directions

·       Family Court Forms

·       Privy Council Judgments appealed from Trinidad and Tobago (1994-current)

·       Daly’s Damages Digest – Archived by the Internet Archive

·       Judicial Review Act (2000) 

7.1. The Court Library Services Unit

The Court Library Services Unit  has six branches. The main branch, The Supreme Court Library, Port-of-Spain, is housed on the third floor of the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The Supreme Court Library has the most comprehensive collection of unreported decisions of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago.  The main online Court Library research resources are now available at the Judiciary website.

 

One copy of every judgment received is placed in the Special Judgment Collection Alphabetical File, in the Port-of-Spain Supreme Court Library.  In print, the library carries cases from the 1950’s to the present. All judgments received by the Unit since 1990 have been recorded in the online catalog. Links to some electronic copies of the decisions are available by searching the Library’s online case database.

Research assistance requests are considered by the Court Law Library on a case-by-case basis, and some information can be provided via fax. Information that is already in electronic format may be sent via email. Judgments can be requested from the courts via email or fax.

The Court Library Services Unit’s Online Catalog contains records of books, articles, and judgments.  More specifically, the online catalog contains:

  • Books acquired from 2001 to the present. The catalogue will eventually reflect all the Unit's collections because retrospective cataloging is ongoing.
  • Index/abstracts of written Judgments of the Supreme Court from 1990 to the present.
  • Entries to the Trinidad and Tobago Law Reports Vol 1(1893-1910) - Vol XVI (1955-1956).
  • Retrospective index/abstracts of some pre- 1990 Judgments.
  • Articles relating to Commonwealth Caribbean jurisdictions.
  • Selected indexing of Trinidad and Tobago Legislation.

 

The Court Library Services Unit Official Website also provides access to: 

 

7.2. The Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago

The Industrial Court is a superior court similar in status to the High Court. It was established in 1965 by the Industrial Stabilisation Act. This act was then repealed and replaced by  the 1972 Industrial Relations Act as amended).

The purpose of the court is to settle unresolved disputes between employers and trade unions representing the workers.

See the official court website for decisions, procedures, court documents and court history:

·       Jurisdiction

·       Divisions of the Court

·       Past Judges

·       Judgments – Available in print at the Court Library.  A searchable online Judgment Database provides information about judgments.  Users must subscribe to get access to the current year’s judgments.

·       Procedures for Initiating a Matter

·       Current Case List

·       A list of court documents that can be requested by members of the public

8. Constitution

Between 1945 and 1962, the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago underwent six reforms. The 1962 Constitution, drafted by Sir Ellis Clarke is referred to as the Independence Constitution and is considered by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to be the first written Constitution. It was reformed in 1976 and became the Republican Constitution, which is still in force.

 

Concerned that the Constitution does not meet the political needs of the multicultural society of Trinidad and Tobago, the government has once again initiated constitutional reform that is expected to facilitate a more effective democratic system of government.  As of January 2013, there was also talk of a constitutional amendment to grant increased autonomy for Tobago.

 

·       The Constitution- Prepared by the Ministry of Legal Affairs.  (Revised up to December 31, 2009)

·       Amendments to the current (1976) Constitution – Available since 1998 at the Parliament website: Act No. 8 of 1981, Act No. 13 of 1982, Act No. 2 of 1988, Act No. 8 of 1988, Act No. 30 of 1994, Act No. 10 of 1995, Act No. 17 of 1995, Act No. 39 of 1996, Act No. 29 of 1999 (Nov. 25, 1999), Act No. 43 of 2000 (Sept. 25, 2000), Act No. 81 of 2000 (Oct. 20, 2000), Act No. 82 of 2000 (Oct. 20, 2000) , Act No. 89 of 2000 (Nov. 2, 2000), Act No. 1 of 2003 (Jan. 22, 2003) , Act No. 6 of 2006 (Apr. 13, 2006), Act No. 12 of 2007 (June 12, 2007).   

·       The Constitution- Prepared by the Parliament Department.  (Revised up to August 20, 2003)

·       The 1976 Constitution with reforms through 2000 (See also WIPO database: HTML & PDF)

·       The 1976 Constitution

·       The 1961 Constitution

·       The Constitution - Contained in the Report of the Trinidad and Tobago Independence Conference, June 1962.  (Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Colonies by Command of Her Majesty - June 1962)

·       Constitution Resources – Compiled by NALIS

·       Constitutional Resources - The Office of the Parliament provides increasing digital access to the constitutional resources deposited at the Parliament Library.

·       Our Constitution and You: A Citizen’s Guide – Prepared by The Ministry of the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago (November 1997).  This guide is intended to explain to the constituents of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the meaning of the constitution.  It briefly describes the content and purpose of the constitution.

·       Foundations of Government: The Republican Constitution - Prepared by The Ministry of Public Administration and Information

·       The Report of the Wooding Commission on Constitutional Reform, 1974

·       “Thinking Things Over - The Constitution Commission (1987) of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago”

·       The Working Document on Constitutional Reform for Public Consultation (January 9, 2009)

·       Draft Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (2006)

·       Principles of Fairness Draft Constitution (Third Edition 2006)

·       Trinidad and Tobago Constitutional Law – Constitution and amendments available through the International Labour Organization’s NATLEX website.

·       The Challenge of Constitutional Reform (2009) -  An Examination of Trinidad and Tobago’s Constitution by Dr. Hamid Ghany, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences at University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad.

·       A Guide to the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago - by the Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association.  (Also published in the Trinidad Express.)

 

9. Archived Historical Legal Documents

There are various collections (i.e. the Digital Library of the Caribbean) of historical archived Trinidad and Tobago legal documents including the following:

·    Port of Spain Gazette, 1907-1914

·    Ordinances passed by the Legislative Council of Trinidad and Tobago (1912-1918)

·    Trinidad and Tobago revised ordinances, 1950

·    The West Indies Gazette, 1958-1962 - Includes supplements consisting of bills, ordinances, statutory rules & orders

·    Caribbean and North Atlantic Territories Gazette, 1959 - Caribbean and North Atlantic territories Trinidad and Tobago. The Trinidad and Tobago (Constitution) (Amendment) order in council, 1959.

·    Trinidad and Tobago gazette, 1969

The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago (NATT) maintain several collections that may be of interest to legal scholars. Online, NATT provides a searchable catalog of records showing the available years and the location of each item.  Some preliminary research assistance may be provided for foreign researchers, but full access to the collection requires a visit to the local reading room.

One NATT law collection is: Laws of Trinidad and Tobago (and the West Indies) - This is a historical collection of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago. The earliest laws in this collection are for Trinidad in 1884. This collection also includes laws that were intended to govern the West Indian Federation of ten (10) islands of the region. This grouping was conceived in 1958 but never came to pass.  The NATT also houses Council Papers, Historical Hansard Reports, Laws of Trinidad & Tobago: 19th Century Ordinances, Trinidad Royal Gazette 1835 - 1962, Trinidad and Tobago Gazette 1962 - present.

 

Researchers can also find information about other repositories holding print copies of the Trinidad Royal Gazette.

 

10. Online Legal Information Sources

10.1. Paid Subscription Law Database

Carilaw - Online subscription database containing the full text of about 20,000 cases with head notes. For other cases, only head notes are available, but the full-text can be requested. Also contains West Indian unreported judgments and a selection of legislation, initially in areas of commercial law, and treaties.

 

10.2. Government Legal Information Online

Trinidad and Tobago has an e-government portal called ttconnect with links nearly every government office or government ministry available online including the official websites  for Parliament, the Prime Minister, the President, and the Courts.

The most recent data available through Internet World Stats indicates that, 53.27% of the 1.2 million people in Trinidad and Tobago have access to the Internet. Trinidad and Tobago's e-government portal allows citizens to access a wide range of government services via a single government portal. Although many of the services are available online, the website carries detailed information on how to access government services via mail or in person.

Other important government links to laws and legal information include:

 

·       Ministry of Legal Affairs official website

·       Law Revision Commission’s Trinidad & Tobago Laws Online

·       Links to Government Initiatives and Documents

·       A Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) & FOIA information from the Attorney General & FOIA cases

·       Judicial Review Act (2000) (Updated to 2009)

·       Data Protection Act

·       Electronic Transactions Act

·       National Budget Statement 2013

·       Venture Capital Incentive Programme (VCIP)

·       The  Constitution

·       Environmental Laws, Policies and Guides - Full-text documents maintained by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) of Trinidad and Tobago.  Includes the Trinidad and Tobago Water Pollution Rules, Noise Pollution Control Rules, and National Environmental Policy.

·       Special Collection: Family Law: Domestic Violence - a digital collection of newspaper clippings on domestic violence in Trinidad and Tobago, maintained by the Court Library Services Unit.

·       Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Legal Affairs includes links to laws including the Consumer Protection and Safety Act, and the Draft Policy Paper - Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.

10.3. Legal Information by Subject

There are several databases that contain laws on a certain topic for many countries. These include The World Intellectual Property Organization’s WIPO Lex database and the International Labour Organization’s database of labor laws. The websites listed below contain laws for Trinidad and Tobago about intellectual property, labor relations, trade relations, and environmental issues.

 

Intellectual Property:

·       World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) maintains a collection of national IP laws at the WIPO Lex website (See WIPO Lex Trinidad and Tobago IP Law Collection. & WIPO’s Trinidad and Tobago Country Profile.)

·       The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Intellectual Property Office maintains a small online documents library.  Details about the IP office and IP laws can be found at the Ministry of Legal Affairs IP web page and at the TTconnect Intellectual Property Rights web page

·       Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT)  is a non-profit organization that administers copyright licenses to performance artists. The website provides guidance as to whether or not a license is needed, explains what music piracy is, and provides information on license fees/tariffs.

·       Protecting Intellectual Property  - information produced by the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs and provided by NALIS.

·       Doing Business in Trinidad and Tobago – Intellectual Property / Trademarks

·       Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Act (Chapter 82:80 – updated to 12/31/2009)

·       Copyright Act, 1997

 

Labor Laws:

·       NATLEX - The International Labour Organization (ILO) maintains a database of labor laws for various countries, including Trinidad and Tobago.  (Browse Trinidad and Tobago labor laws / Search Trinidad and Tobago labor laws)  This is not a full-text database, but many of the listings include links to the full-text of the act or treaty. For example, NATLEX links to available full-text acts from the Trinidad & Tobago Parliament website.

·       NORMLEX - is an ILO online collection bringing together information on international labor standards (such as ratification information, reporting requirements, comments of the ILO's supervisory bodies, etc.) as well as national labor and social security laws.  Key documents, conventions, ratification and comparative data can be searched by country or region.  The ILO has created a National Labour Profile for Trinidad and Tobago and separate Trinidad and Tobago Country Profile.

·       Civil Service Act

·       Civil Service (Amendment) Regulations, 2011

 

Trade & Business Laws:

·       Integrated Database of Trade Disputes for Latin America and the Caribbean

·       Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) - Trinidad and Tobago Trade Laws

·       Doing Business in Trinidad and Tobago (Hamel-Smith)

·       Ease of Doing Business in Trinidad and Tobago (IFC / World Bank)

 

Environmental Laws:

·       ECOLEX is an Environmental law database that allows the user to search for treaties, legislation, and other documents related to Environmental law. It contains significant entries for Trinidad and Tobago.

·       The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Environmental Management Authority (EMA) - Environmental Laws, Policies, Guides

·       Town and Country Planning Act (current to 2009)

11. Print Sources of Legal Information

11.1. Law Journals

·       West Indian Reports - First published in 1958, this authoritative set of law reports includes cases decided in the High Courts and Courts of Appeal of the West Indian States, including Trinidad and Tobago, and Privy Council appeals. These reports contain Caribbean case law.

·       The Caribbean Law Review - The Caribbean Law Review is published by the University of the West Indies, Faculty of Law, Cave Hill, Barbados.

·       West Indian Law Journal - The West Indian Law Journal is published by the Council of Legal Education at the Norman Manley Law School.

11.2. Law Books       

The main publishers of legal books with relevance to Trinidad and Tobago law are The Caribbean Law Publishing Co. Ltd. and Routledge Law Publishers.  The Commonwealth Caribbean Law Series covers English speaking Caribbean nations including Trinidad and Tobago.

 

The official Ian Randle Publishers website has a section with books on Caribbean law topics.

11.3. Selected Subject Bibliography

Administrative Law

·       Eddy D. Ventose, Commonwealth Caribbean Administrative Law (2013).

 

Business & Corporate Law

·       Andrew Burgess, Commonwealth Caribbean Company Law (2013).

·       Rajendra Ramlogan, Commonwealth Caribbean Business Law (2010).

 

Civil Procedure

·       Gilbert Kodilinye, Commonwealth Caribbean Civil Procedure (2009).

 

Constitutional Law & Constitutional Reform

·       Albert Fiadjoe, Commonwealth Caribbean Public Law (2011).

·       Kirk Peter Meighoo & Peter A. Jamadar, Democracy and Constitution Reform in Trinidad and Tobago (2008).

·       Fred Phillips, Commonwealth Caribbean Constitutional Law (2002).

·       Rajendra Ramlogan, Judicial Review in the Commonwealth Caribbean (2013).

 

Criminal Procedure

·       Dana S. Seetahal, Commonwealth Caribbean Criminal Practice and Procedure (2011).

 

Environmental Law

·       Winston Anderson, Principles of Caribbean Environmental Law (2012).

 

Legal System

·       Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Commonwealth Caribbean Law and Legal Systems (2d ed.2008).

·       Sherese Chee Mook, Sovereignty Deconstructed and Self-Definition Revisited: A Perspective on the Abolition or Retention of the Privy Council as the Final Court of Appeal for Trinidad and Tobago (2010). 

 

Legal Profession

·       Rob McQueen & Wesley W. Pue, W. W. Misplaced Traditions: British Lawyers, Colonial Peoples (1999).  Includes a chapter entitled “Context and Dominion: The Law in Independent Trinidad and Tobago” by Haraksingh, Kush.

 

Mediation

·       Albert Fiadjoe, Alternative Dispute Resolution (2004).

Politics & Government

·       Kirk Peter Meighoo, Politics in a Half-Made Society: Trinidad and Tobago, 1925-2001 (2003).

 

Real Property Law

·       Gilbert Kodilinye, Commonwealth Caribbean Property Law (2011).

·       Sampson Owusu, Commonwealth Caribbean Land Law (2006).

 

Tort Law

·       Gilbert Kodilinye, Commonwealth Caribbean Tort Law (2009).

 

Trade

·       Americo Beviglia Zampetti & Junior Lodge, The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement: A Practitioner’s Analysis (2011).

 

Trust Law

·       Gilbert Kodilinye & Trevor A. Carmichael, Commonwealth Caribbean Law of Trusts (2013).

 

12. Sources of General Information

12.1. Statistics and Government Information

·       The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Central Statistical Office (CSO) 

·       List of CSO statistical publications

·       Crime statistics

·       Trade statistics

·       Business statistics

·       Economic indicators and statistics compiled by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (also see Economic statistics compiled by Economy Watch)

·       National Accounts & GDP compiled by UN Statistics Division

·       Labor statistics 

·       Agriculture Statistics

·       Vital statistics

·       CARICOM statistics - Under the Publications tab, regional statistics for the Caribbean on trade, the environment, population, economic indicators, gender, power and decision-making.

·       Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO (Also see UNESCO country info)

·       United Nations Development Programme: Trinidad and Tobago

·       UNdata: Trinidad and Tobago

·       Trinidad Human Rights Information – US Department of State / Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights / Amnesty International

·       Embassy of the United States: Trinidad and Tobago / Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago, Washington DC

12.2. The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS)

The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS), provides library services including providing access to information on Trinidad and Tobago. NALIS has an online catalog and a series of subject guides on local topics related to the history, culture and government of Trinidad and Tobago.

The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) of Trinidad and Tobago maintains a web site with digital access to important collections of cultural information and artifacts and digital access to an index of Caribbean journal articles.

NALIS also provides access to the full-text of select Acts and other government publications including:

·       Education Act

·       Emancipation Act

·       Freedom of Information Act

·       Securities Industry Act

·       Tobago House of Assembly Act 1996

·       Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Functioning of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (Related newspaper articles)

·       Regulations Governing the National Emblems of Trinidad and Tobago

·       Rules and Regulations Governing the National Flag

·       Protective Services – various online articles

 

12.3. The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago (NATT)

The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago (NATT) is the repository for permanent records and archives of the Government as well as historical records of national significance.  

 

12.4. The Government Information Service Limited (GISL)

Established in 2006 as a state owned limited liability company, the Government Information Service Limited (GISL) is intended to facilitate distance learning, to educate the public, and to produce and provide government information. It is also meant to facilitate communication within and between government agencies and to disseminate information to the public.

The Official GISL website provides online access to information such as:

·       Full-text of speeches made by government officials  - Organized by date (June 2008 - present).

·       Online access to news stories related to the government

·       Press Releases from the Trinidad and Tobago government and from CARICOM

12.5. Newspapers

It is known in Trinidad and Tobago, that the accuracy of the information in these newspapers is not guaranteed.

·       Trinidad and Tobago Express

·       The Guardian

·       T & T Newsday

·       Tobago News

·       C News

·       Trinidad and Tobago News - Clearinghouse for articles from all the above newspapers

·       Trinidad and Tobago News Special Files - Archive of news articles on important issues in Trinidad and Tobago recent history (1970's -present)

·       Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

12.6. Government News Sources

·       Latest News about the Office of the Parliament, Trinidad and Tobago

·       Government in the News  - Provided by The Government Information Service Limited (GISL)

·       Tobago House of Assembly News

·       News from the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman

·       Caribbean Community (CARICOM) News

12.7. Other News Sources: Trinidad and Tobago Online TV, Radio & Twitter  

Several Trinidad and Tobago television stations are viewable online including:

·       Gayelle TV

·       ieTV (That is TV)

·       Synergy TV

·       World Indian Network TV

·       CNC 3 from Trinidad & Tobago

·       C TV

·       Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) TV6

·       Tobago Channel 5

·       The Islamic Network

·       IBN TV Channel 8

·       Trinidad and Tobago Online Radio Stations- List maintained by Trinidad and Tobago News.

Online News Sources on Twitter

·       Trinidad and Tobago News

·       C News

·       TT Parliament

·       Tobago Channel 5

·       Office of Disaster Preparedness TT

·       The Ministry of Health TT

13. Other Resources

13.1. Legal Education & Legal Profession

·       Hugh Wooding Law School and Hugh Wooding Law School Library   

·       University of the West Indies, Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus

·       The Commonwealth Caribbean's Council of Legal Education

·       The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago:  The publications link includes The Lawyer Journal, Reports, and Press Releases.

·       Commonwealth Lawyer’s Association

·       List of law Firms in Trinidad - Maintained by HeirosGamos, browsable by type of law and by city.

13.2. Trinidad and Tobago Legal Resource Guides

·       Trinidad and Tobago law resource page - maintained by Washburn University School of Law

·       Guide to Caribbean Law Research - 2010 Update to Globalex Guide by Yemisi Dina

·       Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Resources- Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CLII)

14. Additional Caribbean Legal Information

·       Commonwealth Foundation

·       Fifth Summit of the Americas

·       Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat website with a link to CARICOM laws

·       Organization of American States

·       Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

·       Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

·       Caribbean Court of Justice – Also see Caribbean Court of Justice: A Research Guide (2008 LLRX Guide by Yasmin Morais)

·       The American and Caribbean Law Initiative – Also see The American and Caribbean Law Initiative Annotated Bibliography (Identifies and describes print legal resources for the English speaking Caribbean though 2007.)