This page is intended to help journalists and members of the public access information they are entitled to under the law and the policies of the Nova Scotia Courts. Click on the headings below for more information on each topic:
The Courts of Nova Scotia, in consultation with representatives of the media, have developed a policy regarding the use of electronic devices inside courthouses and courtrooms. The policy includes media use of smartphones and other similar technology to share information about court proceedings on social media platforms, primarily Twitter.
There is one general policy outlining the use of electronic devices in most Nova Scotia Courts. Due to heightened restrictions in some Courts, there are separate policies for use of electronic devices and Twitter in the Family Court, Youth Court, and the Mental Health Court Program. Click on the links below to view the full policies for each. These policies are also inlcluded as Appendix E in the Media Access Guidelines.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has simplified the process to request the use of cameras in its courtrooms. The new protocol went into effect on Oct. 8, 2014.
PLEASE NOTE: The Executive Office requires at least 14 days' notice to request a camera in court. This allows time to consult with the judge(s) and parties involved, and if approved, to ensure the webcasting equipment is working and the resources are in place to produce the webcast.
Search warrants (and information about them) are not accessible when:
Each Provincial Court in the province keeps a search warrant log and a separate binder, which contains copies of the log sheets for search warrants (executed warrants on which reports to a Justice have been made and which are not sealed). When sealed warrants are unsealed, they will be added to these lists. These lists are available for viewing by the public and the media on request..
The Nova Scotia Judiciary has a Media Liaison Committee which is composed of Judges from each of the five Nova Scotia Courts, the Director of Communications for the Judiciary, a representative from the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, a journalism professor, a media lawyer, and representatives of the Nova Scotia media. This Committee meets regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern. Reporters should feel free to contact their representatives on the committee to suggest matters for the Committee’s agenda.
For more information about the Media Liaison Committee, please contact Jennifer Stairs, Director of Communications for the Nova Scotia Judiciary, at (902)424-6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Courts provide copies of the audio recordings of Court proceedings on CDs. No text transcripts are made available. However, there are several certified commercial transcription services in the Province that can produce transcripts from the audio recordings.
To order a copy of the audio recordings of certain Court proceedings which, by law, are part of the Courts' public record, you must fill out and file a form with the appropriate Court:
Print the completed form, sign it, and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard.
Sign the completed form and fax or deliver it to the courthouse in which the case was heard.
The Courts of Nova Scotia maintain a free e-mail subscription service to advise the media of applications made to the Courts for publication bans and other similar Court orders. Subscribers receive an e-mail message advising that an application has been made and when and where it will be heard.
For an explanation of this service, detailed instructions on how to use it, and the required form, please go to:NOTICES OF PUBLICATION BANS >> To subscribe to receive such notices CONTACT THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS >>