In Trinidad and Tobago, the Speaker, or in his absence the Deputy Speaker, presides over each sitting of the House of Representatives, acts as Chairman of Committees of the House and enforces the observance of all rules for preserving order in its proceedings. As a result he maintains order, enforces the rules as is necessary, interprets Standing Orders and practices of the House, deals with points of order and gives rulings when called upon to do so.
The Speaker is considered the guardian of the privileges of the Members of the House of Representatives and the chief characteristics required are authority and impartiality. The Speaker is also responsible for the management and general administration of the House.
The Constitution provides that when the House of Representatives first meets after any general election and before it proceeds to the dispatch of any other business, it shall elect a person to be the Speaker of the House from among members of the House who are not Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries. Persons who are not Members of either the House of Representatives or the Senate may also be elected provided he is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and is not disqualified for election as a Member of the House of Representatives.
The Speaker of the House is fifth in the Order of Precedence of Trinidad and Tobago.