This page is intended to help the media and the public get access to information they are entitled to under the law and the policies of the Nova Scotia Courts. Click on the headings below for more information on each topic:

USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE COURTS >>  


GUIDELINES REGARDING MEDIA AND PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE COURTS >>  
WEBCASTING & THE USE OF CAMERAS DURING COURT PROCEEDINGS >>  
ACCESS TO SEARCH WARRANT LOGS IN PROVINCIAL COURT >>  
MEDIA LIAISON COMMITTEE >>  
COPIES OF AUDIO RECORDINGS OF COURT PROCEEDINGS >>  
RECEIVE COURT DECISIONS BY EMAIL >>  
REGISTER NOW >> to be part of the discussion on the working relationship between the media and the Canadian Courts.
PUBLICATION BANS >>  
     

Any questions, comments or suggestions relating to this page or the documents listed below should be sent to Jennifer Stairs, Director of Communications for the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary.

E-MAIL THE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR >>

Use of Electronic Devices and Technology in the Courts

The Courts of Nova Scotia, in consultation with representatives of the media, have developed a policy regarding the use of social media, including Twitter, and other similar technologies from inside all courthouses and courtrooms.

The policy took effect on May 15, 2014, and it is now part of the Courts' policy on the use of electronic devices in the Courts. To view the complete policy, by levels and types of courts, click on USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES POLICY >>

Guidelines Regarding Media And Public Access to the Courts

In Nova Scotia, the Chief Justices and the Chief Judge have created a working group called the Media Liaison Committee to deal with issues of media and public access. The Committee includes members of the media and a Judge from each of the five Courts.

The Committee meets as needed to discuss issues of media and public access, and more recently, to update the Guidelines for Media & Public Access to the Courts.

The original version of the Guidelines was developed by the Committee in 1992 and has been revised on several occasions since. This comprehensive document includes information about decorum in the courtroom, policies for the use of electronic devices and cameras in courtrooms and courthouses, access to the Courts and court documents, restrictions on access, publication bans, and designated media areas at the courthouses.

Go to the GUIDELINES REGARDING MEDIA AND PUBLIC ACCESS >> to view an interactive PDF of the guidelines and related policies for media and public access to the courts. In the table of contents, simply click on a heading and it will connect you to that section within the document.

Cameras in the Court of Appeal

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has simplified the process to request the use of cameras in its courtrooms. The new protocol went into effect on Oct. 8, 2014.

PLEASE NOTE: The Executive Office requires at least 14 days' notice to request a camera in court. This allows time to consult with the judge(s) and parties involved, and if approved, to ensure the webcasting equipment is working and the resources are in place to produce the webcast.

WEBCASTING & THE USE OF CAMERAS DURING COURT PROCEEDINGS >>

Access to Search Warrant Logs In Provincial Court

Search warrants (and information about them) are not accessible when:

~
they have not yet been executed or were unsuccessfully executed (did not result in property being seized or charges being laid)
~
they were sealed by a Judge or Justice of the Peace when issued to Police (neither the affidavit seeking the Order, nor information about them)
~
a Report to a Justice regarding the warrant has not been filed
~
they are part of a Youth Criminal Justice Act matter
   

Each Provincial Court in the province keeps a search warrant log and a separate binder, which contains copies of the log sheets for search warrants (executed warrants on which reports to a Justice have been made and which are not sealed). When sealed warrants are unsealed, they will be added to these lists. These lists are available for viewing by the public and the media on request..

Media Liaison Committee

The Nova Scotia Judiciary has a committee which deals with issues of media and public access - both physical access (to the courthouses and courtrooms) as well as to the information and files maintained by the Courts. The Media Liaison Committee is composed of members of the Judiciary and representatives of the media. This Committee meets regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern. It also develops guidelines regarding access.

For more information about the committee, please contact:
Jennifer Stairs
Media Liaison Committee facilitator
at: (902) 424-6018
or
EMAIL THE FACILITATOR >>

Copies of Audio Recordings of Court Proceedings

The Courts provide copies of the audio recordings of Court proceedings on CDs. No text transcripts are made available. However, there are several certified commercial transcription services in the Province that can produce transcripts from the audio recordings.

To order a copy of the audio recordings of certain Court proceedings which, by law, are part of the Courts' public record, you must fill out and file a form with the appropriate Court:

FILL OUT THE FORM ON YOUR COMPUTER >>

Print the completed form, sign it, and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard.

PRINT AND FILL OUT THE FORM MANUALLY >>

Sign the completed form and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ALL NOVA SCOTIA COURTHOUSE LOCATIONS >>

Receive Court Decisions by E-mail

Only members of the news media are eligible to receive decisions via email.

PROTOCOL FOR THE RELEASE OF COURT DECISIONS >>

All others are directed to the RECENT DECISIONS >> page on this website. It is updated daily and contains links to court decisions released in recent weeks. Written decisions released more than a month prior can be found on the Courts' searchable DECISIONS DATABASE >>

To receive decisions via email, please contact the Courts Communications Director:

Phone: (902) 424-6018

The Courts also provide daily notices of decisions being released (as well as links to the decisions themselves) via Twitter.

FOLLOW THE COURTS ON TWITTER >>

Publication Bans

The Courts of Nova Scotia maintain a free e-mail subscription service to advise the media of applications made to the Courts for publication bans and other similar Court orders. Subscribers receive an e-mail message advising that an application has been made and when and where it will be heard.

For an explanation of this service, detailed instructions on how to use it, and the required form, please go to:NOTICES OF PUBLICATION BANS >> To subscribe to receive such notices CONTACT THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS >>