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Question 12 Question 13

The Court Administration office in each court facility holds all files and documentation related to cases heard in that location. The public may, for a fee, search the file indices or review documentation in these offices during office hours from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


An Open Justice System

We live in a society that places a high value on openness in the justice system. In a 1989 Supreme Court of Canada case, Edmonton Journal v. A.G. Alberta, the court explained the value of open courts:

The concept of free and uninhibited speech permeates all truly democratic institutions... As a result of their significance, the courts must be open to public scrutiny and to public criticism of their operation by the public.... the public interest in open trials and in the ability of the press to provide complete reports of what takes place in the courtroom is rooted in the need:

      • to maintain an effective evidentiary process;
      • to ensure a judiciary and juries that behave fairly and that are sensitive to the values espoused by society;
      • to promote a shared sense that our courts operate with integrity and dispense justice; and
      • to provide an ongoing opportunity for the community to learn how the justice system operates and how the law being applied daily in our courts affects them.

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REMINDER: The Courts of Nova Scotia have a policy regarding the use of electronic devices in the courthouse. Click here to view the
<< Policy Re: Use of Electronic Devices in The Courthouse >>

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Copies of Audio Recordings of Court Proceedings:

The Courts of Nova Scotia provide copies of the audio recordings of Court proceedings on either audio cassette tapes or CDs. No text transcripts are made availalble. However, there are several commercial transcription services in the Province.

To order a copy of the audio recordings of any Court proceedings:

Then print the completed form, sign it, and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard. To save as an electronic file, convert the competed form to a PDF document (requires Adobe Acrobat Pro software).


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: Justice Centre Locations


Public Access to the Courts

These Guidelines PDF Document cover access to the Appeal, Supreme (including Family Division) and Provincial Courts of Nova Scotia. Access to Small Claims Court, Summary Proceedings Court and Probate Court are generally governed by the same principles outlined in these Guidelines.

The media play a crucial role in informing the general public about what goes on in our courts: the average citizen gains knowledge of the legal system primarily through the words and images conveyed by the media in news reports about court proceedings.

Both the justice system and the public at large are well served when media coverage of hearings and dispositions of specific cases is accurate and complete. Court officials and staff working within the justice system have a responsibility to assist the public, including the media, in obtaining the access to which they are entitled by law to report accurately on court proceedings.