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Inventory of Reforms

Nova Scotia Civil Rules Revision Project


Project for comprehensive review and revision of the rules, with the aim of developing rules which are efficient, effective, and clear.

New Civil Procedure Rules in effect.

Nova Scotia


Body Responsible:
The Courts of Nova Scotia

2004: Rules Revision Project commenced
2005: Working Groups reports issued
February 2008: Draft Rules received tentative approval
June 2008: Rules formally approved
January 2009: Rules went into effect, except Part 13
June 2010: Implementation of Part 13

Nova Scotia Civil Procedure Rules Revision Project: Consultation with the Bar – Issue memorandum
Rules Revision ProjectExternal Link (website) (The Courts of Nova Scotia, 2005). [Website]
New Civil Procedure Rules of Nova ScotiaExternal Link (Courts of Nova Scotia, 2008).
Christopher Guly, Bar-bench spar in NS over new court rulesExternal Link The Lawyers Weekly (18 July 2008).
Nova Scotia, Civil Procedure Rules.External Link

The first phase of the Nova Scotia Rules Revision Project, the review and discussion of policy issues, was completed in 2004-5. It included the development of an Issues Memorandum and the reports of several working groups which made specific recommendations on various issues. A new set of Rules was drafted based on these recommendations.

The new Rules received tentative approval by the Nova Scotia judiciary and were released in February 2008. The new Rules were formally approved in June, 2008 and went into effect 1 January 2009, except Part 13 – Family Proceedings, which were delayed for further review, with an implementation date of 30 June 2010.

Although the Rules have served the province well, concerns about delays, costs, and undue complexity of court proceedings point to the need for the Rules to be examined in detail and re-written where required. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, has been conducting 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 are also participating in the Rules revision project.

The aim of this collaborative effort is to develop Rules which are efficient, effective, and clear. This should help to reduce delays, lessen expenses and lead to more satisfactory results, thereby improving access to justice.


Description of Reforms:
The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia commenced a comprehensive Rules review in 2004, inviting the Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice to participate in the Rules Revision Project. A Steering Committee was formed chaired by Justice John M. Davison, as well as a Supreme Court Drafting Subcommittee, Supreme Court Family Drafting Subcommittee, and Appeal Court Drafting Subcommittee. Working Groups were established to look into eight areas:

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in Aug 01, 2012