Focus of the Conference


Canadians live in a society that places a high value on openness in the justice system. By enabling the public to attend court proceedings and allowing access to court documents, our citizens can learn about the law firsthand. But like it or not, the reality is most citizens are more likely to learn about the legal system through movies, television and news coverage of court proceedings.

Citizens need to see that the Courts and the justice system operate openly and fairly for everyone. For this reason, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized, on numerous occasions, that the media, as representatives of the public, must be given special consideration when applying certain rules and policies of the Courts.

That means everyone working in the justice system — up to and including judges — has a responsibility to assist journalists with accessing the court cases and documents to which they are entitled by law. Journalists have a responsibility too — to ethically report the news of the Courts in a balanced and accurate manner. 



Click on the links below for
more information on:

Panelists & Keynote Speakers

Media and the Law will offer a wide range of dynamic and experienced speakers, including local and national journalists, judges, journalism and law professors, prosecutors, defence attorneys and more!

Opening Remarks - Friday, May 11, 2018
  The Honourable J. Michael MacDonald
Chief Justice of Nova Scotia
  The Honourable Mark Furey
Attorney General of Nova Scotia
Justice 101: Roles & Responsibilities in the Criminal Justice System
Jim Perrin, Superintendent, Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Halifax Regional Police
Jennifer MacLellan, QC, Senior Crown Counsel, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service
Karen Endres, Managing Lawyer, Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission
The Honourable Daniel A. MacRury, Judge of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia
Anatomy of a Journalist: Who We Are & What We Do
Tim Bousquet, Online Journalist, Founder of Halifax Examiner
Sherri Borden Colley, Broadcast Journalist, CBC News Nova Scotia
Alyson Thomson, Journalist, The Canadian Press
Lisa Taylor, Assistant Professor, Ryerson School of Journalism
Luncheon Keynote - Friday, May 11, 2018

The Honourable Mary T. Moreau
Chief Justice of Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Hear from the Alberta Court's first female Chief Justice about the importance of open justice and the need for a free press and an independent judiciary to work together to maintain public trust in the Canadian legal system.

Keeping Up with the Times: Justice in the Digital Age
Beth Karas, Journalist & Legal Analyst, BK All Media, Inc.
The Honourable Justice Bruce Cohen (retired), Communications Officer, Supreme Court of British Columbia
Blair Rhodes, Broadcast Journalist, CBC News Nova Scotia
Robert Currie, Professor, Schulich School of Law, Law & Techonology Institute, Dalhousie University
The Public's Right to Know & The Media's Right to Ask
Angela MacIvor, Broadcast Journalist, CBC News Nova Scotia
Nancy Rubin, QC, Lawyer & Partner, Stewart McKelvey
Peter Dostal, Senior Crown Attorney, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service
Geoff Franklin, Litigation Lawyer, BoyneClarke LLP
Dinner Keynote - Friday, May 11, 2018

The Honourable Judge Kevin S. Burke
Fourth Judicial District, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Hear from an experienced American jurist about the increasing attacks on judicial independence and other challenges facing judges around the world, and what that means for a democratic society premised on the rule of law.

Sexual Assault: Presenting the Complete Picture - Saturday, May 12, 2018
Denise Smith, QC, Deputy Director, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service
Steve Skurka, Legal Analyst, Criminal Lawyer, Irwin Law
Robyn Doolittle, Print Journalist, The Globe and Mail
Diane Crocker, Professor, Department of Criminology, Saint Mary's University
Dana Bowden, Victim Services, Nova Scotia Department of Justice
Cheryl Maloney, Mi'kmaq Activist, Past President, Nova Scotia Native Women's Association
Stay tuned for regular announcements of additional panelists and keynote speakers for the conference, as they are confirmed.

Fees & Payment

Conference registration fees (outlined in the table below) can be paid by cheque or credit card.

Start by completing the online REGISTRATION FORM >> If paying by cheque, print the registration form and mail with your cheque to:

Media and the Law Conference Society
C/O Jennifer Stairs
1815 Upper Water St., 5th Floor
Halifax, NS
B3J 1S7

Cheques should be made out to 'Media and the Law Conference Society'.

If paying by credit card, submit your registration form electronically by clicking the 'Submit by Email' button on the top right corner of the form. Then phone in your credit card information to Meaghan Gillis in the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary, at 902-424-3690.


For all Canadian judges, including Sec. 41(1) panelists

$450.00 + HST (15%) = $517.50

For others professionals, including lawyers, academics, etc. (excluding panelists & speakers)

$450.00 + HST (15%) = $517.50

For journalists (excluding panelists & speakers)

$250.00 + HST (15%) = $287.50

For students (with approval from your post-secondary institution)

Free of charge

The conference registration fee includes all interactive sessions, two breakfasts, one lunch (Friday), the keynote dinner and speech (Friday), three health breaks, and reading materials. On-site parking at Pier 21 is extra.


For those traveling from outside Halifax, accommodations are available at THE WESTIN NOVA SCOTIAN >> 1181 Hollis St., walking distance to Pier 21.

A limited number of rooms have been reserved for conference participants, featuring a queen-sized bed for $179.00(+ tax) per night. This special rate is available until Friday, April 6, 2018. After that date, regular seasonal room rates will apply, based on room availability. Call 1-888-627-8553 and identify yourself as a participant in the Media and the Law conference to qualify for the special rate.

Session Topics