Courts of Nova Scotia graphic and NS Crest



The Supreme Court, fully constituted, comprises the Chief Justice, an Associate Chief Justice and 20 judges. A Judge who is at least
sixty-five years of age and has the requisite years of service may elect
to become a "supernumerary" judge. Supernumerary judges carry a reduced work load and serve in addition to the 20 full time judges. The number of supernumerary judges varies from time to time.

The Supreme Court (Family Division), fully constituted, consists of an Associate Chief Justice and ten judges. Some of the judges appointed to the Supreme Court are currently on long term assignment to the Family Division and others serve in the Family Division on an occasional basis.

Upon appointment, the judges of the Supreme Court are also ex officio members of the Court of Appeal and can be called upon to act as appellate judges.

The Supreme Court sits regularly in eighteen locations across Nova Scotia. It is a court of original jurisdiction and, as such, has complete jurisdiction in both civil and criminal matters arising in the province of Nova Scotia, except in matters or cases expressly excluded by statute. The Supreme Court administers the Divorce Act and the Bankruptcy Act, both of which are federal acts with individual structures of administration and operation. The justices also sit as judges of the Probate Court.

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in indictable offences tried by judge and jury, or by judge alone, as provided by the Criminal Code of Canada, and at the selection of the accused. Civil cases may be tried by judge alone or sitting with a jury, although most civil cases proceed without a jury.

The Supreme Court is a court of record and is open to the public.

The Supreme Court judges have province-wide jurisdiction, although they live and work in various communitites in Nova Scotia. They are a circuit court which means they travel to and from their home location to other court centres to hear cases.

The Supreme Court is administered by the Court Services Division of the Department of Justice.

See - Information kits for representing yourself in the Supreme Court.


Question 3