Focus On

Derrick appointed to Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 2:17 PM | By Paula Kulig

Justice Anne Derrick, who sits on the provincial and family courts in Nova Scotia, has been appointed to the province’s Court of Appeal, effective immediately. She replaces Justice Edward Scanlan, who elected to go from full-time to supernumerary status on Sept. 6, 2016.

Anne Derrick

Justice Anne Derrick

“I am delighted that Justice Derrick will be joining us on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal,” Chief Justice Michael MacDonald said in a news release. “Nova Scotians are very lucky to have someone with her tremendous knowledge and expertise on the bench."

Justice Derrick graduated from Dalhousie University’s law school in 1980 and was called to the Nova Scotia bar the following year. With two law school classmates, she then co-founded a feminist all-women’s law firm in 1984.

During her 24 years in practice, Justice Derrick concentrated on public interest and equality litigation, criminal law (including criminal defence work) and social justice advocacy. She was involved in several high-profile cases — including serving as one of Donald Marshall Jr.’s lawyers at the royal commission examining his wrongful conviction and as counsel to Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

She also represented less visible clients, such as women in the sex trade and survivors of historic sexual and physical abuse at youth institutions in Nova Scotia.

She was first appointed to the provincial and family courts on Sept. 2, 2005, handling longer criminal justice and youth court cases since 2011. She conducted a lengthy fatality inquiry in 2009 and 2010 into the death of Howard Hyde, producing a 400-page report with 80 recommendations for the criminal justice and mental health-care systems.

Justice Derrick has received many honours, including the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Mount Saint Vincent University. She has been active in public and continuing professional and judicial education throughout her career.