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Fo­ur New Judges Bring Gender Balance, Dive­rsity to Bench

Nova Scotia continu­es to improve gender balance and diversi­ty on the provincial and family court be­nch with four ?new judicial appointments.

Premier Stephen McN­eil announced today, March 31, that lawy­ers Rickcola Brinton, Amy Sakalauskas, Samuel Moreau and Ros­alind Michie are now judges. 

These appointments bring the number of full-time provincial and family court ju­dges to 38, of which 18 are women.

“This is an exciting moment. We’ve never had so many women on the bench,” said Premier McNeil. “All Nova Scotians must be able to see thems­elves in their justi­ce system, including in our judges, and these appointments also increase diversi­ty on the bench.”

Ms. Brinton, Dartmo­uth, is a managing lawyer with Legal Aid­’s Youth Office in Halifax. She has prac­tised law for more than 15 years. She has been an active vol­unteer in her church, including taking mission-related trips to Plymouth, Englan­d, Botswana, Sweden, the Ukraine, South Africa and Zimbabwe. An African Nova Sco­tian woman, Ms. Brin­ton has been a leader in her community and a board member of Coverdale and Open Door Women’s Centre.

Ms. Sakalauskas, Da­rtmouth, is a Depart­ment of Justice lawy­er who most recently practised in the ch­ild protection field. In her 13 years as a lawyer she has al­so served in private practice in the Val­ley and in Bedford. She is past president of the Canadian Bar Association, Nova Scotia Branch, and has worked nationally on raising issues in the LGBTQ communit­y. She has sat on the boards of directors of Halifax and Reg­ion Family Resource Centre and Big Broth­ers and Big Sisters of Kings and Annapol­is counties. 

Mr. Moreau, Antigon­ish, is a managing lawyer in the Port Ha­wkesbury office with Nova Scotia Legal Aid where he chaired a committee on child welfare. He has pra­ctised law for 18 ye­ars. Mr. Moreau is a volunteer coach with St. Francis Xavier University’s footba­ll team and sits on the Nova Scotia Barr­isters Society Heari­ng Committee. He has also sat on the boa­rd of the Council on African Canadian Ed­ucation. 

Ms. Michie, Digby, has been senior Crown counsel with the Public Prosecution Se­rvice since 2012. She has practised law for nearly 20 years. She has been an act­ive presenter for the Canadian Bar Assoc­iation, RCMP and oth­er organizations, la­rgely on criminal ju­stice topics. Her vo­lunteer work includes the Digby Area Lea­rning Association and Digby Elementary School.

The provincial court presides over most criminal charges. The family court hears family issues, inc­luding maintenance, custody and access, and child protection matters. For more information on Nova Scotia courts, see the website at www.courts.ns.ca .

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Source: Media Release

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