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Provincial Court Act (amended)

BILL NO. 5

(as introduced)

1st Session, 63rd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
66 Elizabeth II, 2017



Private Member's Bill



Provincial Court Act
(amended)



Karla MacFarlane
Pictou West



First Reading: September 26, 2017

(Explanatory Notes)

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

Explanatory Notes

Clause 1 requires

(a) persons appointed as provincial court judges to complete comprehensive education training in sexual assault law before taking their oath of office; and

(b) the Attorney General to pay the cost of the training.

Clause 2 requires

(a) every person holding the office of provincial court judge to complete continuing education seminars and courses relating to sexual assault law at frequencies determined by the judge in consultation with the Chief Judge; and

(b) the Attorney General to pay the cost of continuing education.

Clause 3 requires a judge to provide a written decision setting out the reasons for judgment when the proceeding is for a sexual offence pursuant to the Criminal Code.

Clause 4 requires

(a) the Chief Judge to consider the time required by a Judge to attend and complete continuing education relating to sexual assault when assigning judicial duties;

(b) the Chief Judge to report annually to the Attorney General on the program content and the number of judges attending and completing the continuing education seminars and courses; and

(c) the Attorney General to table the report in the House of Assembly.

An Act to Amend Chapter 238
of the Revised Statutes, 1989,
the Provincial Court Act,
Respecting Sexual Assault Law Education for Judges

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 Section 3 of Chapter 238 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Provincial Court Act, as amended by Chapter 16 of the Acts of 1992, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (5) the following subsections:

(6) Before taking the oath of office pursuant to Section 4, a judge appointed pursuant to this Section shall complete comprehensive education training in sexual assault law that includes instruction in evidentiary prohibitions, principles of consent and the conduct of sexual assault proceedings, as well as education regarding myths and stereotypes associated with sexual assault complainants.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), the Attorney General shall pay the cost of the educational training referred to in subsection (6).

(8) The money required for the purpose of subsection (7) must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.

2 Chapter 238 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 6A the following Section:

6B (1) Every judge holding office pursuant to this Act shall at such frequency the judge determines in consultation with the Chief Judge, complete continuing education seminars and courses relating to sexual assault law.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Attorney General shall pay the cost of the continuing education seminars and courses referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The money required for the purpose of subsection (2) must be paid out of the money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.

3 Chapter 238 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 8 the following Section:

8A The judge presiding in a proceeding for an offence pursuant to section 151, 152, 153, 153.1, 155 or 159, subsection 160(2) or (3) or section 170, 171, 172, 173, 271 or 273 of the Criminal Code shall provide a written decision setting out the reasons for judgment.

4 Section 15 of Chapter 238, as amended by Chapter 16 of the Acts of 1992, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsections:

(1A) When assigning judicial duties the Chief Judge shall give consideration to the time requirement for judges to attend and complete continuing education seminars and courses relating to sexual assault law.

(1B) On or before February 1, 2019, and on or before February 1st in each year thereafter, the Chief Judge shall submit to the Attorney General a report for the previous calendar year that includes

(a) the title and a description of the content of each education seminar or course relating to sexual assault law completed by judges appointed or designated pursuant to this Act;

(b) the number of judges who attended and completed each of the seminars or courses listed in the report; and

(c) the number of sexual assault cases heard by judges who have not completed continuing education seminars or courses relating to sexual assault law.

(2) The Attorney General shall table in the House of Assembly if the House is then sitting or, where the House is not then sitting, file with the Clerk of the House a report submitted pursuant to subsection (1).


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2017 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created September 26, 2017. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.