Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Bids Farewell to Justice Hamilton

White woman with short white hair, wearing black and white judicial robes.

The Hon. Justice M. Jill Hamilton is ready to hang up her robes and tackle the next stage of her life.

The long-time jurist, outdoor enthusiast and chocolate lover is retiring, effective Nov. 11, 2022, after more than 27 years on the Bench — 21 of those on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

“Justice Hamilton is the epitome of a great appellate judge,” said The Hon. Michael Wood, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia. “She sat on hundreds of cases and was thoroughly familiar with the facts and applicable legal principles in each of them. She possessed a genuine interest in people, as well as a desire to constantly expand her knowledge. Her enthusiasm for her work never abated.

“As a colleague, Justice Hamilton was a strong proponent of judicial collegiality and recognized its important role in the work of an appeal court. Everyone at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal will miss her many contributions and constant good humour. We wish her good luck and safe travels as she pursues her next adventures.”

Originally from Halifax, Justice Hamilton is a graduate of the former Queen Elizabeth High School. She attended Dalhousie University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (1971) and her L.L.B. (1974). She also holds a Master of Laws from the University of London (1975) and obtained a diploma in Air and Space Law from the Institute of World Affairs in London.

Justice Hamilton was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar on Jan. 9, 1976. For much of her legal career she practiced with the Halifax law firm of Daley, Black & Moreira, specializing in corporate, commercial, tax, wills and estates. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel on June 30, 1992.

During her time as a lawyer, Justice Hamilton served as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (1991-94) and served as its first female President (1993-94). Prior to that, she served as Chair of the Canadian Law Information Council (1987-88).

Justice Hamilton was first appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on April 4, 1995. Her appointment to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal came on Oct. 31, 2001. She elected supernumerary status in November 2012.

As a judge, Justice Hamilton has served on numerous judicial committees, including the Courts’ Media Liaison Committee, which she has chaired since 2006. Her attention to detail and collaborative approach to this committee in particular have been instrumental in helping develop practical and effective policies for media access to the Nova Scotia Courts.

On behalf of all her friends and colleagues in the Nova Scotia Judiciary, we wish Justice Hamilton many healthy and happy years in retirement.