More information about the Nova Scotia Judiciary and their Courts (including the names of those currently sitting) can be found at:
CANADA'S COURT SYSTEM >> About Canada's Judges And their Courts
OFFICE FOR FEDERAL JUDICIAL AFFAIRS >> Provides adimistrative services for federally-appointed Judges
CANADA JUDGES ACT >> An Act Respecting Federally-appointed Justices
JUDICATURE ACT >> An Act Respecting the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court
PROVINCIAL COURT ACT >> An Act Respecting Provincially-appointed Judges
ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR JUDGES >> Canadian Judicial Council's Guidelines
THE CONDUCT OF JUDGES >> A Canadian Judicial Council Brochure
CANADIAN SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES ASSOCIATION >> Association's WebsiteCANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PROVINCIAL COURT JUDGES >> Association's Website
The Executive Office of the Judiciary
The Chiefs, the Associate Chiefs, and all the Judges of the Nova Scotia Courts are supported by their Executive Office. It is responsible for all of the Judges’ non-operational matters such as liaison with government, communications, information technology, office space, protocol events, etc.
The office's larger goals are:
|~||to enhance and defend the independence of the Judiciary|
|~||to support and improve the proper administration of Justice|
|~||to provide continuing education about the Courts and the Judiciary|
|~||to “dialogue” with the media and the public|
to work with government at the policy level where appropriate
Click here for more information about THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE JUDICIARY >>
How Judges Are Appointed
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. Prospective appointees are chosen from a list of qualified candidates prepared by a committee which includes sitting Judges, lawyers and representatives of the general public. LEARN MORE >>
Canadians Judges must act impartially. They uphold the rule of law, a principle of governance in which all persons and institutions, including the State itself, are subject to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated without bias or influence. In the criminal context, an accused person is "... to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;" (Section 7(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights And Freedoms)
The Honourable 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 article for this website's "From The Bench" segment, he calls it "a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy".
Read Justice Saunders' paper: "JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY" >>
"Judges should strive to conduct themselves with integrity so as to sustain and enhance public confidence in the Judiciary." (from a publication of the Canadian Judicial Council)
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.
Read more about judicial accountability in "ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR JUDGES" >>
The Conduct Of Judges
Judicial accountability is ensured, in part, by a complaint investigation mechanism which focuses on the behaviour or conduct of a Judge.
Read more about this complaint process and the CONDUCT OF JUDGES >>
How to Address The Judge
The courtroom can be an intimidating place especially for the uninitiated. Add to that the stress of being involved in trial proceedings, the rules of which are unfamiliar to many, and tongues can get tied. Judges tell stories of being referred to, usually by non-professionals, as "Your Majesty", "Dear", "Excellency", even "Your Holiness".
Find out how to properly address a Judge in person, by letter, and in other situations HERE >>