Nova Scotia Supreme Court

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Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court is a superior court in the province of Nova Scotia.

The Court comprises a Chief Justice, the Associate Chief justice, twenty-one judges and six supernumerary (or semiretired) Justices, who sit in 18 different locations around the province.

Jurisdiction[edit]

As with all superior courts across the country, the court is said to have inherent jurisdiction. It hears civil and criminal trials. The criminal trials can be judge alone or judge and jury. The court will also hear appeals from the provincial court, small claims court, Family court, and various provincial tribunals.

Appeals of Supreme Court decisions are then made to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

History[edit]

1st Chief Justice Jonathan Belcher by John Singleton Copley (1754), Court Room 4, Nova Scotia Supreme Court
Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange By Benjamin West, Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Court Room 5, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada[1]

While the first court administering the Common Law was established in Annapolis Royal in 1721, the creation of a Supreme Court took place on October 21, 1754, several years before the Province was granted a legislative assembly. The court is the oldest court in Canada and is among the oldest in North America.

Jonathan Belcher was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. The court's jurisdiction extended to the entire colony, which, after the Treaty of Paris ended the war with France in 1763, includes present day Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and eastern Maine.

In 1990, on the recommendation of the Nova Scotia Court Structure Task Force, the County and Supreme courts were merged to create a bench of 25 judges at the trial level. Since 1999, the Supreme Court also administers the Nova Scotia Family Division Court, with eight judges, that has jurisdiction over divorces and other family law cases in the Halifax and industrial Cape Breton.

Supreme Court Family Division[edit]

The Supreme Court includes the Family Division which adjudicates matters of family law in the regions of Halifax and Cape Breton. As Supreme Court Justices, they have authority over both divorce as well as all other family law matters, unlike their provincial court counterparts who do not have the federal authority to adjudicate divorces.

Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

Name Location Date appointed Appointed by Prior Position(s)
Chief Justice Joseph Phillip Kennedy Halifax 1997 (SC) and 1998 (CJ) Jean Chretien (1997) and (1998) Supreme Court Justice (1997)
Chief Judge of Provincial Court (1993 to 1997)
Provincial Court Judge (1978 to 1993)
Kenney, Theakson, Kennedy & Allen (1969 to 1978)
Associate Chief Justice Deborah K. Smith Halifax 2001 (SC) and 2004 (ACJ) Jean Chretien (2001)
Paul Martin (2004)
McInnes Cooper
Justice James L. Chipman [1] Halifax 2013 Stephen Harper Stewart McKelvey Sterling Scales LLP (1998 to 2013)

Cox Downie (1992 to 1998)

Justice Pierre L. Muise Yarmouth 2010 Stephen Harper Provincial Court Judge (2009 to 2010)

NS Public Prosecution Service (1996 to 2009)

Justice Kevin Coady Halifax 2003 Jean Chretien Coady Filiter
Justice Patrick J. Duncan Halifax 2007 Stephen Harper Beveridge, MacPherson & Duncan (1986 to 2007)
NS Legal Aid (1980 to 1986)
Justice Jeffrey R. Hunt [2] Truro 6 February 2015 Stephen Harper Patterson Law (1992 to 2015)
Justice Joshua M. Arnold [3] [4] Halifax 2 October 2013 Stephen Harper Arnold Pizzo McKegan LLP (1996 to 2013)
Justice Glen G. McDougall [5] Halifax 2001 Jean Chretien Sampson McDougall LLP (1983 to 2001)
Justice Patrick Murray Sydney 2010 Stephen Harper Murray, Gouthro, Wall LLP
Gillis and Murray LLP

Stewart, McKelvey, Stirling, Scales LLP[6]

Justice Robin C. M. Gogan [7] [8] Sydney 2 October 2013 Stephen Harper Breton Law Group (2011 to 2013)

Sampson McDougall (2002 to 2011)

Justice Gregory M. Warner Kentville 2003 Jean Chretien
Justice Michael Wood Halifax 2011 Stephen Harper Burchells LLP
Justice Peter Rosinski Halifax 2010 Stephen Harper NS Public Prosecution Service
Justice Jamie Campbell Halifax 2014 Stephen Harper Provincial Court Judge

(2005 to 2014)

Cox Hansen

Justice Denise Boudreau [9] Halifax 18 December 2013 Stephen Harper Public Prosecution Service of Canada (2007 to 2013)
NS Legal Aid (1998 - 2007)
LeBlanc, MacDonald, and Pickup (1994 to 1998)
Justice D. Timothy Gabriel Halifax 2016 Justin Trudeau Provincial Court Judge (2010 to 2016)

Landry McGillivray (1982 to 2010)

Justice Christa Brothers Halifax 2017 Justin Trudeau Stewart McKelvey Sterling Scales LLP [10]
Justice Ann E Smith Halifax 2016 Justin Trudeau Burchells LLP

Supernumerary

Name Location Date appointed Appointed by Prior Position(s)
Justice Frank C. Edwards Sydney 1993 Jean Chretien
Justice Suzanne M. Hood Halifax 1995 Jean Chretien
Justice N.M. (Nick) Scaravelli (Supernumerary) Pictou/Antigonish 2006 Stephen Harper Macintosh MacDonnell & MacDonald

Fitzgerald and Assoc.
McInnes Cooper

Justice A. David Macadam Halifax 1992 Brian Mulroney
Justice Gerald R.P. Moir Halifax 1997 Jean Chretien
Justice C. Richard Coughlan Bridgewater 2001 Jean Chretien
Justice John D. Murphy Halifax 2001 Jean Chretien
Justice Felix A. Cacchione Halifax 1993 Jean Chretien NS Legal Aid
Justice Margaret Stewart Bridgewater 1992 Brian Mulroney
Justice M. Heather Robertson Halifax 1998 Jean Chretien
Justice Robert William Wright Halifax 1998 Jean Chretien

Past Judges[edit]

  • Justice Elizabeth Van den Eynden [11] [12] (Oct 2, 2013 to February, 2015)
  • Justice Arthur W D Pickup (2002 - 2016)
  • Justice Linda Lee Oland (1998 - 2000) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice Arthur Joseph LeBlanc (1998 - 2017) appointed Lieutenant Governor
  • Justice Joseph Michael MacDonald (1995 - 2005) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice Marlene Jill Hamilton (1995 - 2001) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice John Edward Flinn (1995 - 2002)
  • Justice J. Edward Scanlan (1993 - 2015) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice Hiram Joseph Carver (1993 - 2005)
  • Justice Nancy Jean Bateman (1993 - 1995) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice Charles Edward Haliburton (1993 - 2013)
  • Justice Ian Palmeter (County Court: 1985 - 1993) (1993 - 1997)
  • Justice Simon James MacDonald (1993 - 2016)
  • Justice Donald MacKinnon Hall (County: 1982 to 1993) (1993 - 2006)
  • Justice Douglas Lawrence MacLennan (1993 - ?)
  • Justice Norman Robert Anderson (1993 - 1998)
  • Justice John Hugh MacDonnell (1993 - 1995)
  • Justice Murray James Ryan (1993 - 1994)
  • Justice Ronald Newton Pugsley (1993 - 2000)
  • Justice Jamie William Sutherland Saunders (1990 - 2015)
  • Justice David William Gruchy (1990 - 2007)
  • Justice Walter Robert Evans Goodfellow (1990 - 2009)
  • Justice Allan Paul Boudreau (1990 - 2016)
  • Justice Gerald B Freeman (County: 1988 to 1990) (1990 - 1993) appointed to the Court of Appeal
  • Justice Elizabeth Ann MacKinnon Roscoe (1989 - 1992) Appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice David Ritchie Chipman (1987 - 2000)
  • Justice John McNab Davison (1987 - 2008)
  • Justice Gordon Alfred Tidman (1985 - 2007)
  • Justice Francis Bernard William Kelly (1985 - 2009)
  • Justice Kenneth McNeill Matthews (1985 - 1997)
  • Justice Robert Buckley MacDonald (1985 - 1995)
  • Justice Hilroy Selig Nathanson (1982 - 2007)
  • Justice Daniel Merlin Nunn (1982 - 2005)
  • Justice Lorne Otis Clarke (1981 - 1997) Appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice Roderick MacLeod Rogers (1981 - 1998)
  • Justice Charles Denne Burchell (1979 - 1989)
  • Justice Kenneth Peter Richard (1978 - ?)
  • Justice Leonard Lawson Pace (1978 - 1990)
  • Justice Constance Rachlle Glube (1977 - 1998) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice James Doane Hallett (1977 - 1990) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice William Johnston Grant (1977 - 1995)
  • Justice Angus Lewis Macdonald (1973 - 1992)
  • Justice Alexander Murdoch Macintosh (1973 - 1991)
  • Justice Ian Malcolm MacKeigan (1973 - 1990)
  • Justice Vincent Alan James Morrison (1973 - 1987)
  • Justice Malachi Cornelius Hubert Jones (1970 - 1979) appointed to Court of Appeal
  • Justice Gordon Leavitt Shaw Hart (1968 - 1999)
  • Justice Donald Joseph Gillis (1968 - 1973)
  • Justice Arthur Gordon Cooper (1968 - 1983)
  • Justice Justin Louis Dubisky (1967 - 1976)
  • Justice Gordon Stewart Cowan (1966 - 1981)
  • Justice Alexander Hugh McKinnon (1966 - 1973)
  • Justice Ronald Manning Fielding (1965 - 1972)
  • Justice Vincent Joseph Pottier (1965 - 1970)
  • Justice Thomas Herbert Coffin (1961 - 1981)
  • Justice Frederick William Bissett (1961 - 1977)
  • Justice Frank Harris Patterson (1958 - 1965)
  • Justice Vincent Christopher MacDonald (1950 - 1964)
  • Justice Lauchlin Daniel Currie (1949 - 1968)
  • Justice James Lorimer llsley (1949 - 1967)
  • Justice Eugene Troop Parker (1948 - 1961)
  • Justice Josiah H. MacQuarrie (1947 - 1968)
  • Justice John Stanley Smiley (1938 - 1945)

Judges of the Supreme Court Family Division[edit]

Name Location
Associate Chief Justice Lawrence I. O'Neil Halifax
Justice Douglas C. Campbell Halifax
Justice Leslie J. Dellapinna Halifax
Justice Theresa M. Forgeron Sydney
Justice Kenneth Haley Sydney
Justice Elizabeth Jollimore Halifax
Justice Mona Lynch Halifax
Justice Beryl A. MacDonald Halifax
Justice Robert M Gregan Sydney
Justice Robert Ferguson Halifax
Justice Carole A. Beaton Halifax
Justice C. Lou Ann Chiasson [13] Halifax
Justice Cindy G. Cormier [14] (October 10, 2014) Halifax
Justice Robert M. Gregan Sydney
Justice R. Lester Jesudason Halifax
Justice Pamela J. MacKeigan Halifax
Justice Lee Anne MacLeod-Archer Sydney
Justice Cindy Murray [15] Halifax

Supernumerary

Name Location
Justice R. James Williams Halifax
Justice Moira C. Legere-Sers Port Hawkesbury
Justice Deborah Gass Halifax
Justice Darryl W. Wilson Sydney

References[edit]

  1. ^ According to Thomas Akins, this portrait hung in the legislature of Province House (Nova Scotia) in 1847 (See Akins, History of Halifax, p. 189). According the Arthur Eaton, the portrait was still in Province House in 1891. p. 33

External links[edit]