Provincial Court Bids Farewell to Two Retiring Judges

Nova Scotia Courts News

The Provincial Court of Nova Scotia is losing two of its full-time judges to retirement, but both will continue sitting as per diem (part-time) judges for the foreseeable future. 

The Hon. Judge Paul B. Scovil has presided primarily in Amherst and Bridgewater since his appointment to the Bench on Aug. 2, 2011. His retirement was effective April 30, 2023; however, he intends to continue presiding as a per diem judge as needed across the province.

“The first thing I think of when someone mentions Judge Scovil is his sense of humour — he is quick to crack a joke, often poking fun at himself,” said The Hon. Pamela Williams, Chief Judge of the Provincial Court. “He is a wonderful colleague, always stepping in to help out with even the most difficult assignments. The fact that he is willing to continue assisting his colleagues even after retirement is further testament to his character.” 

The Hon. Judge Paul B. Scovil

Originally from Gagetown, N.B., Judge Scovil came to the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia with almost 29 years of experience in the legal profession.

He obtained a BA from Acadia University (1979) and his law degree from Dalhousie Law School (1982).

He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar the same year and to the New Brunswick Bar in 1986 and practiced in private law firms in both provinces.

As a lawyer, Judge Scovil worked for almost a decade with Nova Scotia Legal Aid and served as a Crown Prosecutor and Senior Crown Attorney with the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service for the 14 years leading up to his appointment.

Also retiring from the Provincial Court is The Hon. Judge Christopher Manning. Judge Manning turns 70 today, which is the mandatory age of retirement for judges appointed under the Provincial Court Act

“Judge Manning is known to be a kind, quiet and humble individual, but his presence in the courtroom is unquestionable,” said Chief Judge Williams. “Although his time with us has been short, his service to Nova Scotians, especially throughout the pandemic, is greatly appreciated. On behalf of all his colleagues, as well as the court staff in Kentville, we wish him the very best in retirement.”

The Hon. Judge Christopher Manning

Judge Manning graduated from Dalhousie Law School and was called to the Bar on August 5, 1985.

He spent his early career as a criminal defence lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid. He later joined a small private firm, continuing his criminal defence work, before opening his own practice, Manning and Associates. He also acted as a per diem Crown Attorney from 1991 until his appointment to the Provincial Court on June 4, 2018.

As a lawyer, Judge Manning served as a mentor in the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society's Mentorship Program and Hearing Committee. He was also on the roster of the province’s Free Independent Legal Advice Program for victims of sexual assault. 

For the past five years, Judge Manning has presided primarily in Kentville and Windsor.

When the Provincial Court is at full complement, there are 28 full-time judges, including the Chief Judge. These retirements create two new vacancies on the Provincial Court. There is also currently a vacancy due to a Provincial Court judge out on long-term illness.