Credits and Acknowlegements

The 250 th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Committee, Chaired by Mr. George Cooper, expresses its thanks to the following people who contributed to the construction of this web site:

Mr. Dean Jobb – researched and wrote the substantive content of the site. Freelance writer Dean Jobb teaches media law and investigative journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax.

- constructed the information architecture, the functionality and design of the site. Terri Harlow is the principal of Alumena Designs, a visual communication company.

– researched, verified and sourced all illustrations, graphics and background information. Lynne Reed, now retired, was the Executive Director, Administrative Office of the Trial Court, Massachusetts.

Mr. Justice Joel Fichaud – reviewed the text and provided input on site content and structure.

Professor Phil Girard – provided substantive background content and helped verify the accuracy of the site. Phil Girard is a Professor of Law, History and Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University.

Mr. Barry Cahill – provided advice, helped source content and verified the accuracy of certain data. Barry Cahill is senior archivist, Government Archives at Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.

Mr. John Macleod – helped source material for the virtual archive. John Macleod is archivist, Government Archives, at Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.

Mr. Jay McCurdy - took the photos of the judges' portraits. Jay McCurdy is a software engineer at IT Interactive Services Inc. and an amateur photographer.

Mr. Peter Landry – made his vast collection of historical writings available to the committee. Pete Landry is a lawyer and has developed interests in the areas of history, philosophy and economics.

– served as the committee’s technical advisor, editor and consultant in all phases of its work. Dene Rossouw is a Communications Advisor in the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary.

The Committee extends a special tribute to Madam Justice Nancy Bateman, Chair of the Nova Scotia Courts web site committee, for her continuous support for projects that help to make the role of Canada’s judiciary understandable to a wider audience.

Funding for this project was provided by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Department of Justice.

Any legal information in the resource materials is intended for general educational purposes and should not form the basis of legal advice of any kind.

The contents of this site may be reproduced for educational, non-commercial purposes.

The 250 th Anniversary of the Supreme Court history web site was produced by a sub-committee consisting of the following members:

Mr. Dean Jobb
Ms. Terri Harlow
Ms. Lynne Reed
Mr. Justice Joel Fichaud
Prof. Phil Girard
Mr. Barry Cahill
Mr. Dene Rossouw
Mr. Pete Landry

© 2004 The Courts of Nova Scotia

Graphic images:

Portraits of the Chief Justices
All portraits owned by Nova Scotia Barristers Society and used with permission.

Archive Volume 1 and Volume 2
Illustrations courtesy Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. Used by permission.

Map of Chebucto Harbour and Town of Halifax (“Porcupine Map” of Nova Scotia)
Internet Library of Early Journals (ILEJ) –
The map appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine,
Vol. 20, February 1750

Nova Scotia Assembly(met first in 1758 in Halifax Court House) By Charles Walter Simpson, Library and Archives Canada, C-019355

Sketch of Dalhousie Law School and photograph of James Robinson Johnston appear on Dalhousie Website:

Thomas Chandler Halliburton , Nova Scotia Archives, NA CC 40887

The Coming of the Loyalists 1783, by Henry Sandham, Library and Archives of Canada, Acc. No. 1996-282-7.

Richard John Uniacke – Nova Scotia Museum image (from Uniacke House Estate Museum website of the NS Museum:, and
Richard John Uniacke, Jr. – Photograph of miniature by Robert Field on display at Uniacke House Estate Museum

Hon. John William Ritchie, Q.C. (Senator), April 1868, Library and Archives of Canada, PA - 02526

The Governor’s House and St. Mather’s Meeting House, Halifax, 1759
Engraving by Richard Short, NSARM neg. no. 4215

“The Clockmaker” by Sam Slick , Thomas Chandler Halliburton photograph of frontispiece

The Trial of Joseph Howe photograph of the plaque on his statue located at Province House, Halifax, Nova Scotia; photograph of Howe, Library and Archives of Canada -PA25465

“Phillis”: Source: Nova Scotia Archives website:

WIGS - copied from on-line UK catalogue

Map of Canada at Confederation:
(Canadian Department of Natural Resources)

The Supreme Court and Nova Scotia Legal History:

Philip Girard, James Muir and Barry Cahill, eds., The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia 1754-2004: From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004).

Philip Girard and Jim Phillips, eds., Essays in the History of Canadian Law: Vol. III, Nova Scotia (Toronto: The Osgoode Society, 1990)

Peter Waite, Sandra Oxner and Thomas Barnes, eds., Law in a Colonial Society: The Nova Scotia Experience (Toronto: The Carswell Company Ltd., 1984)

Sir Joseph A. Chisholm, “Our first common law court,” Dalhousie Review, vol. 1 (April 1921), pp. 17-24.

Beamish Murdoch, A History of Nova Scotia, or Acadie, 3 vols., (Halifax: James Barnes, 1865-67)

Thomas Chandler Haliburton, An historical and statistical account of Nova-Scotia in two volumes (Halifax: Joseph Howe, 1829)

Sir Charles J. Townshend, History of the Court of Chancery in Nova Scotia (Toronto: Carswell Co., 1900)

Sir Charles J. Townshend, “History of the Courts of Chancery in Nova Scotia,” Canadian Law Times, vol. 20, (1900), pp. 14-21, 37-42, 75-80, 105-17.

Sir Charles J. Townshend, “Historical account of the Courts of Judicature in Nova Scotia,” Canadian Law Times, vol. 19 (1899), pp. 25-37, 58-72, 87-98, 142-57.

Biographies of Chief Justices and Prominent Nova Scotia Judges, Lawyers and Politicians:

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and Its Judges: 1754-1978 (Halifax: Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 1978).

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online :

W. Stewart Wallace, The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Toronto: Macmillan, 1973)

Shirley B. Elliott, ed., The Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1758-1983: A Biographical Directory (Halifax: Province of Nova Scotia, 1984)

Canadian Who’s Who 1997 online:‑bin/cw2w3.cgi

Barry Cahill, “The Career of Chief Justice Bryan Finucane,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 42 (1986), pp. 153-69.

Sir Joseph A. Chisholm, “Three Chief Justices of Nova Scotia,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 28 (1949), pp. 148-58.

Sir Joseph A. Chisholm, “Sir Thomas Strange, C.J.,” Canadian Bar Review, vol. 24 (1946), pp. 600-603.

R.E. Inglis, “Sketches of Two Chief Justices of Nova Scotia, Sir Charles Townshend, Robert E. Harris,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 39 (1977), pp. 107-19.

Sir Charles J. Townshend, “The Honorable James McDonald,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 20 (1921), pp. 139-53.

Sir Charles J. Townshend, “Jonathan Belcher, first chief justice of Nova Scotia,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 18 (1914), pp. 25-57.

Sir Joseph A. Chisholm, “Hon. Charles Morris: A Lay Chief Justice,” Canadian Bar Review, vol. 26 (1948), pp. 1090-2.

Sir Charles J. Townshend, “Memoir of the life of the Honorable William Blowers Bliss,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 17 (1913), pp. 23-45.

Benjamin Russell, Autobiography of Benjamin Russell (Halifax: Royal Print and Litho Ltd., 1932)

Benjamin Russell, “Reminiscences of the Nova Scotia Judiciary” Dalhousie Review, vol. 5 (January 1926) pp. 499-512.

Charles St. C. Stayner, “John William Ritchie: One of the Fathers of Confederation,” Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, vol. 36 (1968), pp. 180-277.

Barry Cahill, “The ‘Colored Barrister’: The Short Life and Tragic Death of James Robinson Johnston, 1876-1915,” Dalhousie Law Journal, vol. 15, no. 2 (Fall 1992), pp. 336-79.

Brian Cuthbertson, The Old Attorney General: A Biography of Richard John Uniacke (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 1980)

Nova Scotia Courthouses:

C.A. Hale, “Early Court Houses of the Maritime Provinces,” in Margaret Carter, comp., Early Canadian Court Houses (Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1983), pp. 37-77;

C.A. Hale, The Early Court Houses of Nova Scotia, vols. 1 and 2, Manuscript Report No. 293, (Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1977)

South Shore, Seasoned Timbers , vol. 2: Some Historic Buildings from Nova Scotia’s South Shore (Halifax: Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, 1974)

Famous Cases and Legal Milestones:

Dean Jobb, Shades of Justice: Seven Nova Scotia Murder Cases (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 1988).

Dean Jobb, Crime Wave: Con Men, Rogues and Scoundrels from Nova Scotia’s Past (Lawrencetown, N.S.: Pottersfield Press, 1991)

Dean Jobb, Bluenose Justice: True Tales of Mischief, Mayhem and Murder (Hantsport, N.S.: Lancelot Press, 1996)

J. Murray Beck, Politics of Nova Scotia,1701-1896, vol. 1 (Tantallon, N.S.: Four East Publications, 1985)

Michael Harris, Justice Denied: The Law Versus Donald Marshall (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1986).

John Quinpool, First Things in Acadia (Halifax: First Things Publishers, 1936)

John Willis, A History of Dalhousie Law School (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1979)