The Judiciary of the country includes the Supreme Court of Judicature and the Magistracy. The Supreme Court consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Justice. The President having consulted the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition appoints the Chief Justice. The President on the advice of the Commission’s judicial and legal services appoints other judges. High Court hears the most serious criminal cases, high-profile cases, as well as complaints from citizens about violation of their constitutional rights. The Chief Justice is also the President of the Court of Appeal and Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC).
The Magistracy under a Chief Magistrate is composed of the Courts of Summary Criminal Jurisdiction and the Petty Civil Courts. The Magistrates’ Courts assist Preliminary Inquiries into significant criminal cases to specify whether a pr?ma fac?e case has been determined against a defendant prior to his or her being accused stand trial in the High Court Division of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice may appoint one or more Magistrates to a district or may appoint a Magistrate to more than one area. Each Magistrate, wherever assigned, have jurisdiction within Trinidad and Tobago.
Judges may have and exercise simultaneously with the Magistrates jurisdiction to issue summonses, warrants, fix the bail, take recognizance, and put the parties and witnesses under an oath.
Any Magistrate having a reasonable ground for believing that there is in any places pointed in Summary Court Act may issue a warrant authorizing a constable to search place for anything, and to carry it before the Magistrate or Justice issuing the warrant to be dealt with by him according to law. A Magistrate on issuing a warrant for arrest of a person can present him a bail by approving the warrant for bail respectively to the subsection.
At any time before or during the hearing of a complaint, it shall be lawful for the Court in its discretion to delay the procedure to a time and place to be then stated in the presence and hearing of the party or parties. Judicial Jurisdiction envisages concrete provisions related with youth offences (the Court shall explain a young person in simple language the substance of the alleged offence), summary and indictable offences (for example, power to reduce charge from indictable to summary offence) etc.
Therefore, the Judiciary system works to resolve conflicts in a society by resolving disputes which arise from application of laws and involve application of remedies and punishment of offenders.
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