The Equal Opportunity Tribunal
Protection from Discrimination, Victimisation and Offensive Conduct in Trinidad and Tobago
The Equal Opportunity Tribunal is a limb of the Judiciary. It is a court of law that determines complaints and where appropriate penalises offenders for discrimination, victimisation and or offensive conduct. It is headed by a Judge who has the same status as a High Court Judge. The Equal Opportunity Tribunal has power to grant injunctions, subpoena persons to appear before it and or produce documents, make orders for damages, and can fine and or commit persons to prison for contempt, where there is non-compliance with its orders.
The jurisdiction of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal is prescribed by the Equal Opportunity Act Chap. 22:03 and includes discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, origin and or marital status in the areas of employment, education, accommodation or the provision of goods and services. The Tribunal has power, as well, to penalise certain victimisation and offensive conduct that may offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of persons because of their gender, race, ethnicity, origin or religion. The state, private companies and individuals can be brought before the Equal Opportunity Tribunal for redress.
Persons alleging discrimination, victimisation or offensive conduct must make their Complaints to the Equal Opportunity Commission within 3 months of the occurrence of the event complained of. Where the Complaint is not resolved by conciliation at the Commission, proceedings may then be brought before Equal Opportunity Tribunal for judicial determination of the Complaint.
The Equal Opportunity Tribunal, as a superior court of record, is different, distinct and independent from the Equal Opportunity Commission. It is not a part or department of the Equal Opportunity Commission. Conciliation at the Commission does not affect or influence the legal proceedings or the determination of a Complaint by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal
“When you lose the right to be equal, you lose the right to be free”
Charles Evans Hughes.
equal opportunity tribunal