THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
EXCEPTIONS FOR EXISTING LAW
SAVINGS FOR EXISTING LAW
6.- 1. Nothing in sections 4 and 5 shall invalidate-
a. an existing law;
b. an enactment that repeals and re-enacts an existing law without alteration;
c. an enactement that alters an existing law but does not derogate from any
fundamental right guaranteed by this Chapter in a manner in which or to an
extent to which the existing law did not previously derogate from that right.
2. Where an enactment repeals and re-enacts with modifications an existing law
and is held to derogate from any fundamental right guaranteed by this Chapter
in a manner in which or to an extent to which the existing law did not
previously derogate from that right then, subject to sections 13 and 54 , the
provisions of the existing law shall be substituted for such of the provisions
of the enactment as are held to derogate from the fundamental right in a manner
in which or to an extent to which the existing law did not previously derogate
from that right.
3. In this section-
"alters" in relation to an existing law, includes repealing that law and
re-enacting it with modifications or making different provisions in place of it
or modifying it;
"existing law" means a law that had effect as part of the law of Trinidad and
Tobago immediately before the commencement of this Constitutions, and includes
any enactment referred to in subsection (1);
"right" includes freedom.
EXCEPTIONS FOR EMERGENCIES
7.- 1. Without prejudice to the power of Parliament to make provision
in the premise, but subject to this section, where any period of public
emergency exists, the President may, due regard being had to the circumstances
of any situation likely to arise or exist during such period make regulations
for the purpose of dealing with that situation and issue orders and
instructions for the purpose of the exercise of any powers conferred on him or
any other person by any Act referred to in subsection (3) or instrument made
under this section or any such Act.
2. Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) regulations made under
that subsection may, subject to section 11, make provision for the detention of
3. An Act that is passed during a period of public emergency and is expressly
declared to have effect only during that period or any regulations made under
subsection (1) shall have effect even though inconsistent with sections 4 and 5
except in so far as its provisions may be shown not to be reasonably
justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists durign
PERIOD OF PUBLIC EMERGENCY
8.- 1. Subject to this section, for the purposes of this Chapter, the
President may from time to time make a Proclamation declaring that a state of
public emergency exists.
2. A Proclamation made by the President under subsection (1) shall not be
effective unless it contains a declaration that the President is satisfied-
a. that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the imminence of a state
of war between Trinidad and Tobago and a foreign State;
b. that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of any
earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence or of infectious
disease, or other calamity whether similar to the foregoing or not; or
c. that action has been taken, or is immediately threatened, by any person, of
such a nature and on so extensive a scale, as to be likely to endanger the
public safety or to deprive the community or any substantial portion of the
community of supplies or services essential to life.
GROUNDS FOR, AND INITIAL DURATION OF PROCLAMATION
9.- 1. Within three days of the making of the Proclamation, the
President shall deliver to the Speaker for presentation to the House of
Representatives a statement setting out the specifie grounds on which the
decision to declare the existence of a state of public emergency was based, and
a date shall be fixed for a debate on this statement as soon as practicable but
in any event not later that fifteen days from the date of the Proclamation.
2. A Proclamation made by the President for the purposes of and in accordance
with this section shall, unless previously revoked, remain in force for fifteen
EXTENSION OF PROCLAMATION
10.- 1. Before its expiration the Proclamation may be extended from
time to time by resolution supported by a simple majority vote of the House of
Representatives, so however, that no extension exceeds three months and the
extensions do not in ths aggregate exceed six months.
2. The Proclamation may be further extended from time to time for not more than
three months at any one time, by a resolution passed by both Houses of
Parliament and supported by the votes of not less that three-fifths of all the
members of each House.
3. The Proclamation may be revoked at any time by a resolution supported by a
simple majority vote of the House of Representatives.
4. In this Chapter "period of public emergency" means any period during
a. Trinidad and Tobago is engaged in any war; or
b. there is in force a Proclamation by the President declaring that a state of
public emergency exists; or
c. there is in force a resolution of both Houses of Parliament supported by the
votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of each House declaring
that democratic institutions in Trinidad and Tobago are threatened by
DETENTION OF PERSONS
11.- 1. Where any person who is lawfully detained by virtue only of
such an Act or regulations as is referred to insection 7 so requests at any
time during the period of that detention and thereafter not earlier than six
months after he last made such a request during that period, his case shal be
reviewed by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law and
presided over by a person appointed by the Chief Justice from among the persons
entitled to practise in Trinidad and Tobago as barristers or solicitors.
2. On any review by a tribunal in pursuance of subsection (1) of the case of
any detained person, the tribunal may make recommendations concerning the
necessity or expediency of continuing his detention to the authority by whom it
was ordered but, unless otherwise provided by law, that authority shall not be
obliged to act in accordance with such recommendations.
12.- 1. Where at any time it is impracticable or inexpedient to publish
in the Gazette any Proclamation, Notice, Regulation or Order in pursuance of
this Part, the President may cause the same to be published by notices thereof
affixed to public buildings or distributed amongst the public or by oral public
2. Upon the publication of any Proclamation under this part all such detention
orders, curfew orders or other instruments, directions or instructions as are
authorised to be made, issued or given by any regulations referred to in
section 7 may be made, issued or given and executed upon any person or
authority, even if such regulations have not yet been published pursuant to
EXCEPTIONS FOR CERTAIN LEGISLATION
ACTS INCONSISTENT WITH SECTIONS 4 AND 5
13.- 1. An Act to which this section applies may expressly declare that
it shal have effect even though inconsistent with sections 4 and 5 and, if any
such Act does so declare, it shal have effect accordingly unless the Act is
shown not to be reasonably justificable in a society that has a proper respect
for the rights and freedoms of the individual.
2. An Act to which this section applies is one the bill for which has been
passed by both Houses of Parliament and at the final vote thereon in each House
has been supported by the votes of not less than three-fifths of all the
members of that House.
3. For the purposes of subsection (2) the member of members of the Senate
shall, notwithstanding the appointment of temporary members in accordance with
section 44, be deemed to be the number of members specified in section 40(1).
ENFORCEMENT OF THE PROTECTIVE PROVISIONS
14.- 1. For the removal of doubts it is hereby declared that if any
person alleges that any of the provisions of this Chapter has been, is being,
or is likely to be contravened in relation to him, then without prejudice to
any other actionwith respect to the same matter which is lawfully available,
that person may apply to the High Court for redress by way of originating
2. The High Court shall have original jurisdiction-
a. to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of
subsection (1), and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is
referred to it in pursuance of subsection (4),
and may, subject to subsection (3), make such orders, issue such writs and give
such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing, or
securing the enforcement of, any of the provisions of this Chapter to the
protection of which the person concerned is entitled.
No. 17 of 1966
3. The State Liability and Proceedings Act, 1966 shall have effect for the
purpose of any proceedings under this section.
4. Where in any proceedings in any court other than the High Court or the Court
of Appeal any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions
of this Chapter the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party
to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the High Court unless in
his opinion the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
5. Any person aggrieved by any determination of the High Court under this
section may appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeal and shall be entitled as of
right to a stay of execution of the order and may in the discretion of the
Court be granted bail.
6. Nothing in this section shall limit the power of Parliament to confer on the
High Court or the Court of Appeal such powers as Parliament may think fit in
relation to the exercise by the High Court or the Court of Appeal, as the case
may be, of its jurisdiction in respect of the matters arising under this
CONTINUATION OF CITIZENSHIP OF CITIZENS UNDER SECTION 9 OF FORMER
15.- Any person who became a citizen by birth under section 9(1) or a
citizen by descent under section 9(2) of the former Constitution and who has
not ceased to be a citizen under that Constitution, shall continue to be a
citizen under this Constitution.
CONTINUATION OF CITIZENSHIP OF CITIZENS BY REGISTRATION, NATURALIZATION,
16.- Any person who became a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by virtue
of registration under the former Constitution or by virtue of an acquisition of
citizenship under Part II of the Trinidad and Tobago Citizenship Act, 1962, and
who has not ceased to be a citizen under any law in force in Trinidad and
Tobago shall continue to be a citizen under this Constitution.
No. 11 of 1962
ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH OR DESCENT. CONTINUATION OF
CITIZENSHIP. RETROSPECTIVE CITIZENSHIP
17.- 1. Subject to subsection (2), every person born in Trinidad and
Tobago after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of
Trinidad and tobago at the date of his birth.
2. A person shall not become a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by virtue of
subsection (1), if at the time of his birth-
a. neither of his parents is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and either of
them possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an
envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Trinidad and Tobago; or
b. either of his parents is an enemy alien and the virth occurred in a place
then under occupation by the enemy.
3. A person born outside Trinidad and Tobago after the commencement of this
Constitution shall become a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago at the date of his
vith if at that date either of his parents is, or was, but for his parent's
death, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago otherwise than by descent, so however
that, in the case of a person employed in service under the Government or under
an authority of the Government that requires him to reside outside Trinidad and
tobago for the proper discharge of his functions, this subsection shall be read
as if the words "otherwise than by descent" were deleted.
4. Any person who became a citizen by bith under section 12(1) or citizen by
descent under section 12(2) of the former Constitution and who has not ceased
to be a citizen under that Constitution, shall continue to be a citizen under
5. A person born outside Trinidad and Tobago after the 30th August, 1962 whose
mother was a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago otherwise than by descent at the
date of his birth but who did not become a citizen at that date shall be deemed
to have become a citizen at that date and shall continue to be a citizen of
Trinidad and Tobago under this Constitution.
18.- 1. Every person who under this Constitution or any Act of
Parliament is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago or, under any law for the time
being in force in any country to which this section applies, is a citizen of
that country shall, by virtue of that citizenship, have the status of a
2. Every person who is a British subject without citizenship under the British
Nationality Act, 1948 of the United Kingdom or who continues to be a British
subject under section 2 of that Act or who is a British subject under the
British Nationality Act, 1965 of the United Kingdom shall, by virtue of that
status, have the status of a Commonwealth citizen.
11 and 12 Geo. VI c. 56
3. The countries to which this section applies are Australia, the Bahamas,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Cyprus, Fiji, the Gambia, Ghana,
Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta,
Mauritius, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, United Kingdom and Colonies, Western Samoa
4. The President may from time to time, by Order subject to affirmative
resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives amend subsection (3)
by adding any Commonwealth country thereto or by deleting any Commonwealth
CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF COMMONWEALTH CITIZENS POWERS OF
19.- 1. A Commonwealth citizen who is not a citizen of Trinidad and
Tobago, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland who is not a citizen of
Trinidad and Tobago, shall not be guilty of any offence against any law in
force in Trinidad and Tobago by reason of anything done or omitted in any part
of the Commonwealth other than Trinidad and Tobago or in the Republic of
Ireland or in any foreign country unless-
a. the act or omission would be and offence if he were an alien; and
b. in the case of an act or omission in any part of the Commonwealth or in the
Republic of Ireland, it would be an offence if the country in which the act was
done or the omission made were a foreign country.
2. In this section "foreign country" means a country (other than the Republic
of Ireland) that is not part of the Commonwealth.
20.- Parliament may make provisions relating to cirizenship including
a. for the acquisition of citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago by persons who are
not or do not become citizens of Trinidad and Tobago by virtue of the
provisions of this Chapter;
b. for depriving of his citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago any citizen of
Trinidad and Tobago but only on the acquisition of citizenship of some other
country in the case of a citizen by birth or descent; or
c. for the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Trinidad and
21.- 1. In this Chapter-
"alien" means a person who is not a Commonwealth citizen, a British protected
person or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland;
"British protected person" means a person who is a British protected person for
the purposes of the British Nationality Act, 1948 of the United Kingdom;
"citizen by birth" means a person-
a. who is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago under section 17(1); or
b. who became a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago under section 9(1) or 12(1) of
the former Constitution;
"citizen by descent" means a person-
a. who is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago under section 17(3) or any
b. who became a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago under section 9(2) or 12(2) of
the former Constitution.
2. For the purposes of this Chapter, a person born outside Trinidad and Tobago
aboard a registered ship or aircraft, or aboard an unregistered ship or
aircraft of the government of any country, shall be deemed to have been born in
the place in which the ship or aircraft has been registered or, as the case may
be, in that country.
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