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.