JLSC Role, Responsibilities & Composition

JUDICIAL AND LEGAL SERVICE COMMISSION

The Judicial and Legal Service Commission is an executive body established under section 110 of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

ROLE / RESPONSIBILITY

Under section 104 of the Constitution the Judicial and Legal Service Commission has power to advise the president on the appointment of Judges, other than the Chief Justice, the acting appointment of Judges and the revocation of such acting appointments.  The President must act upon the advice he receives from the Commission on all such matters.

Under section 111 of the Constitution the Judicial and Legal Service Commission has power to appoint persons to hold or act in prescribed public offices for which legal qualifications are required; including the power to make appointments on promotion, to transfer and confirm appointments and to remove and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices.

The offices falling under the purview of the Commission are listed in the First and Second Schedules of the Judicial and Legal Service Act Chap.6:01 (as amended), Section 4 (2) of the Tax Appeal Board Act, Chap.4:50 (as amended) and Section 65A of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, Chap. 4:01.  The total number of such offices currently falling under the jurisdiction of the Commission is 300.

Regulatory Framework

To enable the discharge of its responsibilities and pending the promulgation of its own Regulations, the Commission, with the consent of the Prime Minister, has adopted, mutatis mutandis the Public Service Commission Regulations (as amended).

Limitations on the Exercise of Powers and Functions

The Constitution contains provisions to secure the independence of the Commission from both the Executive and the Legislature.  However the autonomy of the Commission is not without limits-

Constitutional Limits:

-    In the exercise of its discretion the Commission must conform with existing regulations and the rules of natural justice as set out in sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution.

-    Public officers have the right of appeal to the Public Service Appeal Board in respect of decisions of the Commission on disciplinary matters (PART 11 of the Constitution).

-    Public officers may also apply to the High Court for judicial review of any decision of the Commission

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