ABOUT NOVA SCOTIA JUDGES
Collectively, the Judges of the Nova Scotia Courts are known as The Nova Scotia Judiciary.
The Judiciary consists of Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court as well as Judges of the Provincial Court and the Family Court. Justices of the Appeal and Supreme Courts are appointed by the Federal Government while Judges of the Provincial and Family Courts are appointed by the Provincial Government.
Each of these four Courts has a Chief Justice or Chief Judge. Some also have Associate Chief Justices and one has an Associate Chief Judge.
The Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal is also the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia.
More information about the Nova Scotia Judiciary and their Courts (including the names of those currently sitting) can be found at:
Notice that some members of the Judiciary are referred to as "Justices" while others are called "Judges". To learn more about who's who, go to: What To Call The Judge.
Judges in Nova Scotia's Appeal and Supreme Courts are appointed by the Federal Government. while those in the Provincial and Family Courts are appointed by the Provincial Government. All must meet strict qualification criteria before they can be considered for appointment to the bench. In both cases, appointees are chosen from a list of qualified candidates prepared by a committee which includes sitting Judges, lawyers and representatives of the general public.
Recently, the Federal Government added a new element to the Judicial appointment process. For the first time in history, a judicial appointee to the Supreme Court of Canada was required to go before a multi-party committee of Parliament to answer questions. Although the questions the committee is allowed to ask are limited in scope and the committee does not have the authority to approve or reject the appointee, this new procedure can provide the public with a brief introduction to the country's newest Supreme Court of Canada Justice.
To learn more, go to How Judges Are Appointed
Canadians Judges must act impartially; make decisions in Court on the basis of the law and the facts before them, free from outside influences, threats, and pressures of any kind. They are able to do so because judicial independence is guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution.
To learn more, go to "Ethical Principles For Judges"
Justice Jamie Saunders of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal says "judicial independence is a public interest that must be continuously and vigorously defended". In his From The Bench article, he calls it "a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy".
To read Justice Saunders' article go to: Judicial Independence and Impartiality
The other side of the judicial independence coin is judicial accountability. It is what will "sustain and enhance public confidence in the Judiciary". And the public's confidence in the Judiciary is essential in maintaining the public's respect for the rule of law.
To learn more, go to "Ethical Principles For Judges" published by the Canadian Judicial Council.
Judicial accountability is ensured, in part, by a complaint investigation mechanism which focuses on the behaviour or conduct of a Judge.
It is important to note here that there is a difference between the "CONDUCT" of the Judge and the "DECISION" of the Judge.
If you disagree with a Judge's "DECISION", you appeal it to another Court.
If you are concerned about a Judge's "CONDUCT", you file a complaint.
To learn more about filing a complaint go to:
The Conduct of Federally-Appointed Justices (Appeal and Supreme Courts)
The Conduct of Provincially-Appointed Judges (Provinciall and Family Courts)
The Conduct of Judges (federally-appointed Judges)
The Conduct of Judges (provincially-appointed Judges)
Federal Judges Act
Provincial Court Act
Canada's Court System
Ethical Principles For Judges
Canadian Superior Court Judges Association
Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges