How Federal Judges Are Appointed
In order to be eligible to be considered for a position on the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court, a prospective candidate must:
(a) have been a barrister or advocate for at least ten years in any province
(b) have been a barrister or advocate in any province, and exercised powers and performed duties and functions of a judicial nature on a full-time basis for a total of at least ten years
The Federal Government amended the judicial appointment process for federally appointed Judges in October 2016 to increase the openness and transparency of appointments. For more information on those changes visit the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CANADA WEBSITE >>
Judges who sit on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are appointed by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the federal Minister of Justice. The appointment of Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices is made by the federal Cabinet, based on recommendations from the Prime Minister.
The Minister and the Prime Minister choose the candidates they recommend from a list provided by Nova Scotia's Federal Judicial Advisory Committee.
Each Province has its own standing Federal Judicial Advisory Committee. Each committee consists of seven members representing the Bench, the bar and the general public, and one ex-officio non-voting member being either the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada, the Executive Director, Judicial Appointments, or their designate. These independent committees have the responsibility of assessing the qualifications of those applying for judicial appointments. The committee then provides the federal Minister of Justice or the Prime Minister with a short list of prospective candidates.
For more information about Federal Judicial Advisory Committees as well as the names of committee members, go to the website of the COMMISSIONER OF FEDERAL JUDICIAL AFFAIRS >>
For more detailed information on how Justices of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and Supreme Court are appointed, go to the website of the COMMISSIONER OF FEDERAL JUDICIAL AFFAIRS >>
These processes outlined above are separate from the APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA >>
How Provincial Judges Are Appointed
Judges who sit on the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia are appointed by the Governor in Council (the Lieutenant Governor) on the advice of the members of the Executive Council (the Cabinet), which considers the recommendations of the Minister of Justice.
The Minister makes his or her recommendations to Cabinet based on a list of qualified candidates provided by the Advisory Committee on Provincial Judicial Appointments. The Advisory Committee is made up of lawyers, Judges, and members of the public. It compiles and maintains a list of all qualified candidates recommended for appointment. These are selected from the applications submitted and are based on a number of criteria.
For more detailed information on how the Province's Provincial and Family Court Judges are appointed and about the qualification criteria,
go to GUIDELINES FOR PROVINCIAL JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS >>