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Master Sharlene Jaggernauth, IAWJ Rising Leader

Master Sharlene Jaggernauth, IAWJ Rising Leader
By Sharlene Jaggernauth
Posted: 2024-04-05T15:18:53Z

Master Sharlene Jaggernauth was appointed to the bench of the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2021 where she presently sits and hears applications concerning family matters including domestic violence matters, applications concerning child custody and maintenance, paternity declarations, uncontested divorces, applications filed pursuant to the Cohabitational Relationships Act among other matters.

She obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the University of London in 2005 before pursuing the Bar Vocational Course at the BPP Law School, Holborn, London, United Kingdom. In 2006 she was called to the Bar of England and Wales as an Utter Barrister and returned to Trinidad in the same year to commence her legal practice. 

Under the mentorship of some of the most revered Senior Counsel in her country, Master Jaggernauth engaged in a busy private practice and gained experience as advocate before the Courts at all levels in a diversity of civil, criminal, family and public law matters, many of which were of public importance. During this time, she developed an inclination towards human rights and constitutional matters as well as for matters involving the rights of children.

In 2014, she was recruited to serve as Senior Legal Associate at the newly established Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, the first statutory body charged with oversight of child protection in Trinidad and Tobago. In the period leading up to the Authority becoming operational, Master Jaggernauth guided its Board of Management, senior executives, managers and staff through the development of policies and protocols to ensure compliance with country’s international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and domestic legislation. This included the development of protocols utilised by the Authority’s Legal Unit for the filing and management of Wardship and Care proceedings on behalf of children received into the care of the Authority. In 2016, Master Jaggernauth was also instrumental in providing advice to the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago in relation to legal reforms necessary to bring domestic legislation into compliance with the UNCRC, leading to the amendment of over 19 legislative enactments in that that year. 

IN 2017, Master Jaggernauth was promoted to Legal Services Manager at the Authority. She served as lead Counsel on behalf of the Authority in all care proceedings and matters concerning the constitutional rights of children and her advocacy has led to a number of notable and landmark decisions which have shaped the jurisprudence relating to children’s rights in Trinidad and Tobago. She provided mentorship and oversight over the Authority’s Legal Unit and was responsible for the management of over hundreds of Applications filed by the Authority in relation to children in need of care and protection.

Master Jaggernauth further developed extensive training programmes and materials on the child protection legislation of Trinidad and Tobago and delivered such training to the Authority’s staff and groups of stakeholders who interact with children including the police, medical practitioners, educators, legal practitioners, Government ministries, non-governmental organisations and civil society among others. She has also delivered presentations on child protection legislation and policy at various conventions and international fora. She further served as a consultant with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) during which time she advised on the development of a framework for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Court Accompaniment programmes for victims of domestic violence.

Master Jaggernauth is also certified in Family Mediation. Being committed to lifelong learning and staying up to date with the legal developments in the area of human rights and constitutional matters, she is currently pursuing a Master of Laws Degree in Public Law at the University of the West Indies. She remains passionate about the development of the jurisprudence in Trinidad and Tobago in the area of child protection, family law and human rights.

A mother of one, she enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures, hiking, boating and exploring nature.