“Throughout her time on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Smith has demonstrated her passion
and commitment to improving the administration of justice. As well, she has been recognized
nationally as a leader in judicial education and training, helping to ensure Canadian judges are in touch
with the society in which they judge. I know that her appointment as Chief Justice will be welcomed by
her colleagues, both here and across the country.”

- The Honourable Michael J. Wood
Chief Justice of Nova Scotia


Chief Justice Deborah K. Smith

Chief Justice Deborah K. Smith is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1984. She practiced civil and family law for 17 years until her appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2001. She sat in the Family Division of the Supreme Court until 2004, when she was appointed Associate Chief Justice and transferred to the General Division of that Court.

Chief Justice Smith is an active and involved member of the Canadian Judicial Council, having served in a number of roles, including Chair of the Council's Education Committee for two terms and as a member of the CJC Executive Committee and Priorities and Planning Committee. In addition, Chief Justice Smith served for many years as a member of the Board of Governors for the National Judicial Institute, the leading provider of judicial education in Canada.

Presently, Chief Justice Smith co-chairs the CJC Judicial Independence and Appointment Process Committee and is assisting with the redrafting and modernization of Ethical Principles for Judges, a publication designed to provide guidance for Superior Court judges in Canada. She taught Civil Trial Practice at Dalhousie Law School and has lectured at numerous continuing legal education programs, the Nova Scotia Bar Admission course, and New Judges School.


Chief Justice Smith’s appointment is effective immediately. A ceremony to celebrate her swearing-in will be held at
3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at the Law Courts, 1815 Upper Water St., Halifax, N.S.