There are various levels and types
of Courts in Nova Scotia
The Court of Appeal is the highest court in the Province. It hears appeals from the lower Courts as well as from tribunals such as the Utilities Review Board.
The Supreme Court deals with a range of civil and criminal matters. It has exclusive authority to hold jury trials. It hears appeals from some tribunals and on summary convictions from certain criminal trials.
The Supreme Court's Family Division hears all family matters in the Regional Municipalities of Halifax and Cape Breton. In the rest of the Province, the Supreme Court hears all divorce matters which include division of property, child custody and access issues, and child or spousal support.
Outside of the two regional municipalities, the Family Court may also deal with some family matters under certain circumstances (see below).
The Provincial Court is where most criminal matters are heard. It includes a Youth Justice Court which has jurisdiction to hear all criminal charges against persons 12 to 17 years of age, including murder charges.
The Family Court deals with family matters outside the Reginal Municipalities of Halifax and Cape Breton unless they arise in the context of divorce proceedings. Prior to divorce proceedings being commenced, the Family Court may deal with child access, custody, or support issues. Family Court also deals with children of unmarried parents on issues of custody, access, and support.
In the Reginal Municipalities of Halifax and Cape Breton, the Supreme Court's Family Division hears all family matters.
The Small Claims Court provides a quick, informal and cost-effective method for deciding claims under $25,000.
The Bankruptcy Court and the Probate Court deal with financial and inheritance matters respectively.
For more detailed information about Nova Scotia's Courts, click on the drop-down menus at the top of this page.
For information on the organization of the courts across Canada, click here: Canada's Courts.
For information on the Canadian justice system, legislation, law enforcement, national crime statistics, and other public justice institutions click here: Justice and the Law in Canada.