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Trudeau announces appointment of Nova Scotia Supreme Court chief justice

The Honourable Deborah K. Smith has been announced as the new chief justice of Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
The Honourable Deborah K. Smith has been announced as the new chief justice of Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Nova Scotia Judiciary

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the new chief justice of Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The Honourable Deborah K. Smith, the associate chief justice of the province’s Supreme Court, will become only the second woman in the province’s history to achieve the position.

Smith has held the position of associate chief justice of the Supreme Court since December 2004.

READ MORE: Trudeau names Michael Wood as the new chief justice of Nova Scotia

Smith will replace Joseph P. Kennedy, who retired on April 30.

“Throughout her time on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Smith has demonstrated her passion and commitment to improving the administration of justice,” Nova Scotia Chief Justice Michael J. Wood said in a press release.

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“As well, she has been recognized nationally as a leader in judicial education and training, helping to ensure Canadian judges are in touch with the society in which they judge. I know that her appointment as Chief Justice will be welcomed by her colleagues, both here and across the country.”

Wood was announced as the new chief justice of Nova Scotia back in April, replacing former Chief Justice Michael MacDonald, who retired in February.

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The Nova Scotia Supreme Court chief and associate justices are responsible for the leadership and administration of their courts.

They also serve as members of the Canadian Judicial Council.

According to a release from Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Smith is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1984.

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She practiced civil and family law for 17 years until her appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2001. She taught Civil Trial Practice at Dalhousie Law School and has lectured at numerous continuing legal education programs, the Nova Scotia Bar Admission course, and New Judges School.

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The Honourable Constance R. Glube was the first female chief justice in Nova Scotia.

Smith’s appointment is effective immediately.