Supreme Court

Role of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest trial Court in Nova Scotia. It has broad authority to try a wide range of civil and criminal matters. It also has a Family Division that handles family law matters, including divorces and the division of matrimonial property.

The most serious crimes, referred to in the Criminal Code as indictable offences, are heard only in the Supreme Court. Indictable offences can be tried by a judge and jury or by judge alone, depending on what the accused individual elects. Civil cases may also be tried by a judge or a jury, although most proceed without a jury.

The Supreme Court also hears appeals from the Provincial Court and the Small Claims Court, as well as statutory appeals and judicial reviews from Tribunal decisions. It administers the federal Bankruptcy Act and its Justices may also sit as judges of the Probate Court and Bankruptcy Court, as needed.

Requesting a Speaker from the Supreme Court

Are you looking to have a Justice from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia speak at an event? Applicants must fill out the Speaker Request Form and submit an electronic copy to All requested information in the form is mandatory.

Please note that it will be easier for the Court to accommodate your request if it is received well in advance of your event. 

Artificial Intelligence

In light of the significant concerns surrounding the potential fabrication of legal authorities through generative artificial intelligence (AI), the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia issued a Notice on Oct. 18, 2023, addressing the matter of legal references in submissions to the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court recognizes that emerging technologies bring both opportunities and challenges, and the legal community must adapt accordingly. Therefore, we encourage ongoing discussions and collaborations to navigate these complexities effectively. 

Judges of the Supreme Court

The judges who sit in the Supreme Court are appointed by the federal government and are known as Justices. 

Appearing in the Supreme Court

Legal information, resources and guides to assist anyone considering an action or appearing in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. 

Jury Duty

What do you do if you receive a jury summons? Helpful information for potential jurors and updates on jury selections.

Free Legal Clinic

Representing yourself in court? You may be eligible to meet with a volunteer lawyer at one of the Courts' free legal clinics. 

News & Notices