The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has implemented Practice Directives on a variety of issues to provide guidance for counsel, parties and individuals represented themselves on appeal proceedings. Individuals are expected to review and follow the applicable directives for their matter in the Court of Appeal. Questions about these documents should be directed to the Registrar of the Court.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal offers parties who have an appeal before the Court the opportunity to meet with a judge of the Court to seek a solution to the dispute between the parties. The principles and requirements of this program are outlined in the link below.
Use of Neutral Citation for Case Law
Since its establishment in 1999, Canadian courts in all jurisdictions have progressively implemented the Neutral Citation for Case Law. The purpose of this Practice Directive is to ensure that counsel provide the Neutral Citation to any case law cited in court submissions for all courts in Nova Scotia.
Hague Convention Appeals
In recognition of the importance of fast-tracking appeals involving the interjurisdictional abduction of children, including international abductions that engage the Hague Convention, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has adopted a following protocol for expediting appeals raising this issue.
Orders Restricting Media Reporting or Public Access
While respecting the open courts principle and the media's right to access information in court proceedings, judges have the discretionary, legislated and common law authority to approve the use of pseudonyms in court proceedings and in appropriate circumstances to approve applications for publication bans, sealing orders and in camera hearings. This Practice Directive outlines how those applications for orders restricting media reporting or public access can be made in the Court of Appeal.
Protocol for Appeal Proceedings Involving Allegations of Ineffective Trial Counsel
In criminal appeals from conviction, the appellant may raise grounds of appeal suggesting their trial counsel was ineffective or otherwise contributed to a miscarriage of justice. In such cases, the appellant will often want to provide the court with information concerning instructions to and conduct of trial counsel. This Practice Directive outlines the protocol for these types of matters.
Courtroom Attire for Counsel
This Practice Directive provides guidance on when counsel is expected to robe for court proceedings and how to advise the Court of personal circumstances that may require them to wear modified robes or business attire.
Appearances in the Court of Appeal
Typically, appeal proceedings are held in person, with all parties appearing physically in the courtroom. However, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal is capable of running fully virtual appeals using Microsoft (MS) Teams or appeals with remote appearances by telephone or videoconferencing. 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.
Electronic Filing of Documents in Appeal Proceedings
While the COVID-19 Practice Directive was in effect, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal accepted additional documents to be filed and served electronically. However, these permission were specific to the circumstances of the pandemic and no longer apply. These additional documents must now be filed and served in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules, which do not permit electronic filing or service as of right. This Practice Directive provides instructions on the electronic filing of Factums, Transcripts, Appeal Books and Books of Authorities.