Recommendations to Encourage Diversity on the Bench

The Chief Justices and Chief Judge encourage diversity in the Chambers Clerk Program and the Pro Bono Provincial Court Placement and Pro Bono Family Court Placement by, for example, having the applications include statements welcoming applications from racialized backgrounds and seeking self-identification, and by further encouraging application through the IB&M Program.


Diversifying the Bench

"As Canadians, we are all richer because
of our differences. The same goes for our
institutions, including the judiciary.
The more inclusive we are, the
broader our perspectives and
the more informed our decisions."

- Chief Justice Michael MacDonald
The Society Record, July 2017


The Chief Justices and Chief Judge discuss with their Judges whether there are any other opportunities at their Courts for law students.
The Chief Justices and Chief Judge, with the assistance of the Communications Director, identify opportunities to proactively engage, and work collaboratively with, schools, the law school, the practicing bar, organizations which represent lawyers or visible minority lawyers, and the community at large towards increasing knowledge of the role of the Judiciary and how one becomes a Judge.
As appropriate and possible, the Chief Justices and Chief Judge consider appointing Judges from racialized groups as their nominees on the Committees.
If appropriate, the Chief Justices and Chief Judge encourage the Ministers of Justice and other nominating bodies to include persons from visible minorities in their appointments to the Committees.
Through their nominees, the Chief Justices and Chief Judge encourage the Committees to receive periodic cultural competency training.
The Chief Justices and Chief Judge or, if more appropriate, the Chief Judge only, discuss the 15-year requirement for appointment to the Provincial Court and the Family Court and its impact on the inclusion of racialized persons on the Bench, with the Minister of Justice of Nova Scotia.
The Chief Justices and Chief Judge consider whether judicial work shadowing by, and judicial mentoring for, racialized lawyers ought to be instituted. If so, they should consider how formal or informal, what criteria, material, format, and so on would be most appropriate.
The Chief Justices and Chief Judge suggest to their Judges that whenever they identify lawyers who would be suitable candidates for appointment to the Bench, they encourage those lawyers to do so.
The Chief Justices and Chief Judge add a cultural competency component, whether regularly or periodically, to one or more of the conferences for their respective or combined Courts. In doing so, they might call on organizations for judicial education, such as the National Judicial Institute, and consult with law professors, local community groups and leaders, and the organizations representing visible minority lawyers for suggestions, recommendations, and advice.
The Chief Justices and Chief Judge continue to promote the inclusion of visible minority persons on the Bench and, together with their Judges, to welcome and support them following their appointments.


Judicial Appointments

Judges do not have a direct role in appointing other Judges. That is the responsibility of the Government. In the case of the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia, those appointments are made by the Provincial Government based on recommendations from judicial advisory committees. A similar process is in place for appointing Judges to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the Supreme Court - Family Division and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. The Federal Government is in charge of those appointments.

To learn more about how Judges are appointed, CLICK HERE >>

Are you eligible to apply or have you applied for a judicial appointment in Nova Scotia?

If so, you may be eligible for our introductory Nova Scotia Judicial Mentorship Initiative for African Nova Scotian and Indigenous lawyers.