By Department of Justice, Nova Scotia
Four new judges have been appointed to the provincial court in Nova Scotia effective Feb. 3.
Jillian Barrington of Sydney, Bronwyn Duffy of Bible Hill, Jill Hartlen of Hubbards, and Bryna Hatt of New Glasgow are Nova Scotia’s newest judges.
“All four appointees are experienced and well-respected lawyers with close ties to their communities,” said Attorney General and Justice Minister Brad Johns. “They have all demonstrated professional integrity, good character and outstanding contributions to the practice of law.”
Jillian Barrington practised with Sheldon Nathanson Law Office in Sydney, where she focused on criminal and family law. She has also represented children and guardians as a court-appointed lawyer in matters with Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services of Nova Scotia. She was called to the bar in 2011.
Bronwyn Duffy was a partner with MacIsaac, Clarke & Duffy in Stellarton. Her practice included federal prosecutions as agent counsel for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, being a town solicitor, residential and commercial real estate, and municipal law. She is actively involved in her community, particularly with youth academic and sports initiatives. She was called to the bar in 2010.
Prior to her appointment, Jill Hartlen was Agent Supervisor, Atlantic Region of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. She has provided Charter of Rights and Freedoms training to agents and police, and she has been involved in more than 100 charter challenges. In 2018, she was designated a wiretap agent, prosecuting many complex wiretap cases. She was called to the bar in 2004.
Bryna Hatt was a lawyer and President of Fraser Hatt Law in Port Hawkesbury, where she practised Indigenous, labour and employment law and conducted independent workplace investigations. She has worked with First Nation governments and tribal councils on matters of aboriginal rights, labour and employment, and constitutional law. She has also been an adjudicator with the Nova Scotia small claims court. She was called to the bar in 2008.
The provincial court presides over most indictable and summary offence charges under the Criminal Code.
- judges are selected by the government from a list of candidates recommended by the seven-member independent Advisory Committee on Provincial Judicial Appointments, which includes two members of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, a sitting judge of the Provincial Court, three public representatives and a retired member of the judiciary as Chair, all appointed by the Minister of Justice
- the advisory committee’s recommendations are based on criteria in the Guidelines for Provincial Judicial Appointments
- appointments to the bench continue to be based on merit and professional excellence; gender, language/bilingualism, racial and cultural diversity, geographical representation and commitment to public service are among the criteria for the appointment of judges
- with these appointments, there are now 18 female and 12 male judges sitting full-time on the provincial court; 12 part-time judges also serve on the bench
The Provincial Judicial Appointments Guidelines and the application form to apply to become a Provincial Court Judge are available at: https://novascotia.ca/just/Court_Services/
Information on Nova Scotia courts: https://www.courts.ns.ca/