History of the Ministry

Upon gaining Independence in 1962, the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago expressly assigned to the Attorney General the powers now exercised by the Director of Public Prosecutions i.e. the institution and undertaking of criminal proceedings. Upon attaining Republican status in 1976, the Constitution declared the Attorney General a Minister and assigned him/her responsibility for the administration of legal affairs in Trinidad and Tobago. Legal proceedings for and against the State must be taken, in the case of civil proceedings, in his/her name and in the case of criminal proceedings in the name of the State.

From time to time after 1976 there have been changes in the structure of the Office of the Attorney General. From 1979 to 1990, the Office of the Attorney General functioned under the umbrella of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, where both an Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs operated conjointly. In 1997 however, the ministry portfolios were split into two, where they functioned as separate entities. In 1999, they were subsequently re-joined but were separated again three years later in 2002 and have remained separate since then.

The Ministry’s organizational structure has also seen several additions to its nucleus over the past decade. The additions of the Human Rights and International Law Unit, the Policy and Media Research Unit, the Facilities Management and the Process Review Team have significantly expanded the scope of the work of the Ministry.

The Ministry of the Attorney General has also been a leader in the public service with the establishment of the Health and Recreation Centre and the Vacation and After-School Centre, both the first of their kind in any Government Agency.

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