FREE LEGAL CLINIC at the Halifax Law Courts (Upper Water Street)

Receive free legal advice in private, one-hour sessions for self-represented litigants dealing with civil or family law matters in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.

LEARN MORE >>

The Court of Appeal

The Law Courts Building
1815 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS
B3J 1S7

Tel: (902) 424-6900
Fax: (902) 424-0524

VIEW STREET MAP >>

All inquiries regarding the Court of Appeal should be directed to:
The Registrar at (902) 424-8962
or E-mail THE REGISTRAR >>

 

COURT OF APPEAL DOCKETS >>
Dockets for all four terms are updated continuously.

DECISIONS OF THE COURT OF APPEAL >>
A searchable database of the Court's rulings

RULES AND FORMS OF THE COURT >>
Rules and Forms of the the Court.

RULE RE: CAMERAS IN COURTROOM >>
Protocol for requesting permission to use cameras in the courtroom during a hearing.

UPDATE ON ELECTRONIC FILING OF APPEAL DOCUMENTS

Effective Feb. 1, 2023, documents that had been accepted electronically by the Registrar (i.e. Notices of Appeal, Cross Appeal or Contention, and other documents related to Chambers motions) must be filed and served in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules, which do not permit electronic filing or service as of right.

 

The permission to file and serve these types of documents electronically was specific to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and no longer applies. Further to that, the Nova Scotia Courts do not currently have a document management system to properly support electronic filing.

 

READ THE COURT NOTICE RE: NEW PRACTICE DIRECTIVE FOR E-FILING >>

 

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal offers several educational and employment opportunities for law students and young lawyers .....

THE ANNUAL CLERKSHIP PROGRAM >>

THE GORDON S. COWAN INTERNSHIP >>

The Role of the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal hears appeals in both civil and criminal matters from the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, in criminal matters from the Provincial Court and the Youth Justice Court, and family matters from the Family Court. It also hears appeals of decisions by tribunals such as the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Through its judgments, the Court of Appeal clarifies and develops the law in the Province of Nova Scotia.

The Court has the authority to dismiss the appeal, thereby confirming the decision of the lower court or tribunal; to allow the appeal and order a new trial or hearing; or to allow the appeal but change the order of the lower court or tribunal.

 

The Justices of the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has a Chief Justice, who is also the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, and seven other Justices. Semi-retired, also know as Supernumerary Justices, may also form part of the Court of Appeal. The Justices do not sit on any other Court and they have no previous involvement with the cases that come before them on appeal.

Chief Justice - Michael J. Wood
Justice Joel E. Fichaud (Supernumerary)
Justice Duncan R. Beveridge
Justice David P.S. Farrar
Justice Peter M.S. Bryson
Justice J. Edward (Ted) Scanlan (Supernumerary)
Justice Cindy A. Bourgeois
Justice Elizabeth Van den Eynden
Justice Anne S. Derrick
Justice Carole A. Beaton

 

Addressing Judges on the Court of Appeal

 

Many judges prefer to be addressed in a gender-neutral fashion. Counsel should consider doing so by using the term “Justice”, followed by the jurist’s last name. The gender-neutral term “Court” is also acceptable, as in: “I would like to direct the Court’s attention to…”. This is particularly useful in appeal hearings where a panel of three or five judges may be presiding.


Unless otherwise directed, it is also acceptable to address a male judge as “My Lord” and a female judge as “My Lady”.


When speaking to a judge outside of the courtroom, the preferred manner of address is “Justice” or “Judge”.

 

Links to Other Information and Materials

PRACTICE DIRECTIVE: APPEARANCES IN THE COURT OF APPEAL >>
This practice directive replaces the Practice Directive for Appeal Proceedings during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Unless otherwise noted by the Court, participants should assume that their matter will proceed in person. Counsel or parties may make a request to the Court to appear virtually. Subject to any order of the Court, all fully virtual appeals or in-person appeals with remote appearances will be conducted pursuant to this practice directive.

PRACTICE DIRECTIVE: ELECTRONIC FILING OF DOCUMENTS IN APPEAL PROCEEDINGS >>

This practice directive provides instructions on the electronic filing of Factums, Transcripts, Appeal Books and Books of Authorities. PLEASE NOTE: Effective Feb. 1, 2023, documents that had been accepted electronically by the Registrar (i.e. Notices of Appeal, Cross Appeal or Contention, and other documents related to Chambers motions) must be filed and served in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules, which do not permit electronic filing or service as of right.

 

BEST PRACTICES CHECKLIST FOR VIRTUAL COURT >>

The Court of Appeal has developed a checklist of things for counsel and other court participants to consider before taking part in a virtual court proceeding.

 

IDENTIFYING PRONOUNS & TITLES FOR COURT OF APPEAL PARTICIPANTS >>
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal welcomes parties, lawyers and other court participants to advise the Court of their pronouns and titles.

 

WATCH A VIDEO TUTORIAL ON CIVIL APPEALS >>
An introduction to the appeal process and a step-by-step guide for civil appeals.

 

HOW TO PREPARE AN APPEAL BOOK >>
A video, graphics, and instructions to help you avoid having your documentation rejected.

SUPREME COURT OF CANADA CASES YOU NEED NOT INCLUDE IN THE BOOK OF AUTHORITIES >>
A list of decisions that the Court of Appeal keeps on hand.

WCAT CASES YOU NEED NOT INCLUDE IN THE BOOK OF AUTHORITIES - ALPHABETICAL BINDERS >>
A list of decisions that the Court of Appeal keeps on hand.

WCAT CASES YOU NEED NOT INCLUDE IN THE BOOK OF AUTHORITIES - CHRONOLOGICAL BINDERS >>
A list of decisions that the Court of Appeal keeps on hand.

PROTOCOL RE: PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING ALLEGATIONS OF INEFFECTIVE COUNSEL >>
A step-by-step outline of the process.

FINAL REPORT OF THE BENCH/BAR APPELLATE PROCEDURES COMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL APPEALS >>
A record of what has been done to improve processes for handling complex criminal appeals.

APPEALS INVOLVING INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTIONS (HAGUE CONVENTION) >>
This protocol engages the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

JUDICIAL MEDIATION PROGRAM >>
This program helps litigants avoid costly and time-consuming courtroom hearings.

 

 

Representing Yourself in the Court Of Appeal

Are you considering representing yourself in court? Start by reviewing the resources below.

BROCHURE - THE COURT OF APPEAL >>

GUIDE - LA COUR D'APPEL >>

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (NSCA) >>

There are also two "How-To" manuals available depending on the type of appeal you are filing:

HOW TO APPEAL A CRIMINAL LAW DECISION >>

HOW TO APPEAL A CIVIL LAW DECISION >>

There is more information and links to other web-based resources
for people who are considering representing themselves in court HERE >>