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 Courts. Any questions, comments and suggestions relating to this page or to 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 >>

NOTICE TO THE MEDIA (April 15, 2016)

New Communications Director Starts April 18, 2016

Jennifer Stairs is the new Communications Director for the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary, effective Monday, April 18, 2016.

Prior to this position, Jennifer worked with the Halifax Regional Municipality as a Senior Communications Advisor, acting as an official spokesperson with extensive experience doing print, radio and television interviews.

Jennifer has also served as Press Secretary to former Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and also has experience working as a liaison for media on federal election campaigns.

A journalism graduate, Jennifer has also worked in the media as a General Assignment Reporter and Researcher with the CBC in Halifax and The Chronicle Herald where she served several years as the paper's Supreme Court Reporter, in addition to other assignments.

NOTICE TO THE MEDIA (March 23, 2016)

"Court Revises Draft Temporary Practice Memorandum on Physician Assisted Death": The judges of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia have revised the "Draft Temporary Practice Memorandum on Physician Assisted Death" first released on March 4. It will be considered by the by the court as a whole on May 12 and 13, 2016. Submissions can be made in writing to Justice James L. Chipman or Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy at the following address:

The Law Courts
1815 Upper Water Street
Halifax NS B3J 1S7

Read the Revised Draft Temporary Practice Memorandum on Physician Assisted Death HERE >>

 

NOTICE TO THE MEDIA (October 20, 2014)

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has streamlined the protocol for requesting permission to use cameras in the courtroom during court proceedings.

The old process, first put into place in March of 2003, has been repealed.

The new one took effect on October 8th, 2014. It significantly reduces the paperwork and processing time required.

READ NEW PROTOCOL >>

REVIEW OLD PROTOCOL >>

 

Policy Re: Use of Electronic Devices and Technology (including "Twitter")

The Courts of Nova Scotia, in consultation with representatives of the media, have developed a policy regarding the use of “Twitter” and other similar technologies from inside the Province’s courthouses and courtrooms.
~ The policy took effect on May 15, 2014.
~ It is now part of the Courts' policy on the use of electronic devices in the courthouses and courtrooms of Nova Scotia.

The complete policy, by levels and types of courts, is found here: USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES POLICY >>

 

Guidelines Regarding Media And Public Access to the Courts

The Nova Scotia Judiciary has a series of guidelines regarding the media's and public's access to the Courts. They are developed and kept up-to-date by the Media Liaison Committee, a group which includes Judges and representatives of the media. The guidelines deal with physical access to the Courts, access to files, records, and other information, and the use of audio and video equipment inside courtrooms and courthouses.

GUIDELINES REGARDING MEDIA AND PUBLIC ACCESS >>
 
Cameras in the Court of Appeal

The NSCA has revised its rules regarding requests to use cameras in its courtrooms during court proceedings in order to simplify the process.

They took effect as of October 8th, 2014.

The Court's earlier protocol (March 2003) regarding requests to use cameras in its courtrooms during court proceedings has been repealed.

~ NEW RULES AS OF OCTOBER 08, 2014 >>
   
   
   
~ OLD 2003 PROTOCOL (REPEALED) >>
   
     
PROTOCOL FOR THE RELEASE OF COURT DECISIONS >>
 
PROTOCOL FOR ACCESS TO COURT EXHIBITS >>

 

Access to Search Warrant Logs In Provincial Court

Provincial Courts across Nova Scotia provide access to a binder containing log sheets for search warrants which are accessible to the public and the media. This binder only contains log sheets for accessible warrants issued or unsealed on or after October 1st, 2011. 

Here is the policy:

  1. Each Judicial Centre of the Provincial Court will, in addition to the search warrant log it currently maintains, keep a separate binder which contains copies of the log sheets for all search warrants which are accessible to the public (i.e., executed warrants on which reports to a justice have been made and which are not sealed). Such binder will be available for review to members of the public upon request.
  1. When a sealed warrant is unsealed, the log sheet for that warrant will be updated to include information that is normally recorded for unsealed warrants, unless such information has been redacted. A copy of the updated log sheet shall be placed in the binder available for public viewing.
  2. Sealed warrants and the Court's Orders sealing them are NOT available to the public/media without a Judge's permission.

 

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
E-MAIL 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:

Click here to FILL OUT THE FORM ON YOUR COMPUTER >>
Then print the completed form, sign it, and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard.

OR

Click here to PRINT AND FILL OUT THE FORM MANUALLY >>
Then sign the completed form and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard.

For contact information for Nova Scotia courthouses click here: COURTHOUSE LOCATIONS >>

 

Receive The Courts' Decisions Via E-mail:

Only members of the news media are eligible to receive decisions via e-mail.

All others are directed to the RECENT DECISIONS >> page on this website. It is updated daily and contains links to Court decisions released during the most recent four weeks. Decisions that have been released in the past can be found on our searchable DECISIONS DATABASE >>.

To receive decisions via e-mail, 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.

Sign up to 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 Courts Communications Director.

Phone: (902) 424-6018