News release

Judicial Appointments Ensure Timely Access

The appointments of four new judges today, Sept. 19, by Justice Minister Michael Baker mean Nova Scotians will continue to benefit from timely access to court services. The appointments fill vacancies due to retirements. The new judges, who will sit in provincial court and family court, are:

  • James H. Burrill of Shelburne;
  • Marc C. Chisholm, Q.C. of Halifax;
  • Laurel J. Halfpenny MacQuarrie of Port Hawkesbury;
  • Pamela S. Williams of East Preston.

"These highly qualified individuals are welcome additions to both courts," said Mr. Baker. "Each has a strong combination of legal qualifications, professional experience and community involvement."

Mr. Burrill received bachelor's and master's degrees from Dalhousie University and graduated from law school in 1985. He became a Crown attorney with the Public Prosecution Service in 1987, and for the past seven years was chief Crown attorney, western region, based in Shelburne.

Mr. Chisholm received his bachelor's degree from St. Francis Xavier University and graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1979. He joined the Public Prosecution Service in 1980, and was most recently deputy director of public prosecutions.

Ms. Halfpenny MacQuarrie received two bachelor's degrees from St. Francis Xavier University and graduated from the University of New Brunswick Law School in 1989. She articled with the firm of LeBlanc, MacDonald and Pickup in Port Hawkesbury. Since 1997, Ms. Halfpenny MacQuarrie has been a Crown attorney with the Public Prosecution Service.

Ms. Williams received her bachelor's degree at Saint Mary's University, and received her law degree from Dalhousie University in 1984. A lawyer for more than 18 years, she was most recently managing lawyer with the Dartmouth office of Nova Scotia Legal Aid.

Provincial court judges are required to have at least five years experience as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, and must meet other criteria set by the Advisory Committee on Provincial Judicial Appointments. Committee members include two members of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, the chief judges of the provincial and family courts and four laypersons appointed by the minister of Justice.

The provincial court has exclusive jurisdiction over all summary offences under provincial statutes and federal acts and regulations. The family court provides a forum for hearing issues relating to the family including maintenance, custody/access, family violence between spouses or between parent and child and child protection matters. For more information on Nova Scotia courts, visit the Web site at .


There are four new judges in Nova Scotia.

The appointments were announced today (September 19th) by Justice Minister Michael Baker.

The judges will hear cases in provincial court and family court.

They are James Burrill of Shelburne; Marc Chisholm of Halifax; Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie of Port Hawkesbury; and Pamela Williams of East Preston.



Richard Perry
Department of Justice 902-424-6811 E-mail:
kjd            September 19, 2003       11:01 A.M.