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The current Civil Procedure Rules were made by the Judges of the two Courts on June 6, 2008. Part 13 - Family Proceedings - was completed in April of 2010.
These Rules went into effect on January 1st, 2009 and June 30th, 2010 (Part 13 - Family Proceedings) except as provided in Part 19 - Transition, Rule 92.
The earlier version of the Rules dated back to 1972.


More About the Bench Rules Committee

Members of the Rules Committee include the Chief Justice and the Associate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (who chair the committee) as well as one Judge from the Court of Appeal. The other members are appointed annually by the judges of the Supreme Court.

The Prothonotary provides support (research, agenda preparation, minutes, etc) to the Rules Committee and to it's working groups. The Rules Committee meets monthly except in the summer.

The Judges consult with the practicing Bar about the Rules through the "Bench-Bar Rules Committee" which consists of five Bar representatives, including the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, together with the members of the Bench Rules Committee. This group meets twice a year. The Bench-Bar Rules Committee is not a decision making body but a consultative working group. It provides an opportunity for dialogue with the Bar Society on proposed changes to the Rules. The Prothonotary also provides support to this committee. All recommendations from the Bench-Bar Rules Committee go forward to the Bench Rules Committee. Recommendations from the Bench Rules Committee then go forward to the full meeting of the Supreme Court and, where appropriate, to the Court of Appeal.

The contact person for questions concerning the Civil Procedure Rules is the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court and Registrar of the Court of Appeal in Halifax.


Amendments to the Rules are made on a continuing basis by the judges. Under section 51 of the Judicature Act, all changes to the Civil Procedure Rules must be placed before the House of Assembly within 20 days after the changes have been made. Section 47 of the Judicature Act, also provides for the tabling of the Rules before the Legislature. This is done through the Registrar of Regulations at the Department of Justice.

All amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules must also be published in the Royal Gazette and are effective on the date of that publication. The Amendments are also posted on the Courts of Nova Scotia website and the website of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.

The Rules are currently published only in the English language. However, any amendments to Rules enacted pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada must be published in both official languages.


History Of The Rules Revision Project:

The old Civil Procedure Rules (1972) are no longer in effect but are provided here for historical context.


Although the old Rules enacted in 1972 had served the province well, concerns about delays, costs, and undue complexity of court proceedings suggested they needed to be examined in detail and re-written where required. Between 2004 and 2008, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, conducted a comprehensive review and revision of the Rules.

At the invitation of the Supreme Court, the Law Reform Commission, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice participated in the four year long Rules Revision Project. The aim of this collaborative effort was to develop Rules which are efficient, effective, and clear which help to reduce delays, lessen expenses and lead to more satisfactory results, thereby improving access to justice.

Much of the project was completed on June 6, 2008 when the Judges of the two Courts made the new Civil Procedure Rules (except for Part 13 - Family Proceedings). The new Rules went into effect on January 1st, 2009. Part 13 - Family Proceedings followed on June 30th, 2010.