The Provincial Court of Nova Scotia is welcoming three new judges. The Hon. Kelly J. Serbu, a criminal defence lawyer in private practice, and The Hon. Brad G. Sarson and The Hon. Nicole A. Rovers, both from Nova Scotia Legal Aid, were appointed to the Bench earlier today.
“The Provincial Court is a unique and extremely busy environment that requires sharp, focused and hard-working judges,” said The Hon. Chief Judge Pamela Williams. “These new appointees fit the bill completely and we are thrilled to welcome them to our ranks. Among the three of them, they have more than 60 years of experience practicing criminal and other types of law, which will serve them well in the Provincial Court.”
The Hon. Judge Kelly J. Serbu
Judge Kelly Serbu was a criminal defence lawyer in private practice, with more than 24 years practicing law. He received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 2017. He acted as an adjudicator with the Indian Residential
Schools Adjudication Secretariat between 2008 and 2019.
Judge Serbu is a former vice-president of the Nova Scotia Criminal Lawyers Association and served on several committees. He also served as President of the Canadian Blind Hockey Association for the past two years.
Judge Serbu is Metis and has been legally blind since he was 19.
The Hon. Judge Brad G. Sarson
Judge Brad Sarson was Senior Staff Counsel and a former managing lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid. He was called to the Bar in 1997 and specialized in criminal law.
Judge Sarson was a member of the Nova Scotia Criminal Lawyers' Association and has served on a number of committees, including the Professional Standards (Criminal Law) Committee. He was a co-instructor of the Criminal Clinic course at the Schulich School of Law for a number of years and was Nova Scotia Legal Aid's representative on the working group that helped establish the Domestic Violence Court Program in the Halifax region.
The Hon. Judge Nicole A. Rovers
Judge Nicole Rovers was previously a lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid, where she focused on family, criminal, and appeal work. She was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2002.
Judge Rovers has been President of the Antigonish Bar Association since 2017 and co-chair of the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Mass Casualty Commission Working Group. She is a former Women’s Support Worker with the Antigonish Women’s’ Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association, acting as a social justice advocate and support person for women involved in the criminal justice and civil court systems.
Today’s judicial appointments fill three of the four vacancies on the Provincial Court. There are now 15 female and 14 male judges on the full-time Bench, as well as 10 per diem (part-time) judges.