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The legislative counsel are the lawyers for the House of Assembly. The Office has two main responsibilities: to act as parliamentary counsel to the House of Assembly and to prepare and publish the province’s bills and statutes. Find out more about the history of the office on the Legislative Counsel history page.
Duties of the Office are described in the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly. As parliamentary counsel, the Office provides legal advice to the House of Assembly, the speaker, and other offices of the House of Assembly. Legislative counsel attends proceedings of the House to offer guidance as needed on parliamentary procedure and to give legal opinions on the interpretation and application of the Rules and other legislation.
Legislative counsel serve a similar role at all meetings of legislative committees and the House of Assembly Management Commission. The Office also manages meetings of the Standing Committee on Law Amendments. It sets the committee's agendas, schedules witnesses, and maintains official records.
The Office is also responsible for the preparation and publication of bills and statutes. Bills must be approved by counsel before they are introduced in the House. New bills are reviewed for wording, formatting and errors in content, and to prevent conflict with other legislation.
Once passed by the House, the Office prepares all approved bills for publication in the annual statutes, along with an index. The bills and statutes are published in print and digital formats.
Occasionally, the Office will update changes to public acts that are in force at the time and publish them in the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia. Counsel are authorized by the Rules to make corrections to numbering, spelling, grammar and language. Consolidated versions of public acts are also available on the Legislative Business section of this website.
Legislative counsel prepares and publishes the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly.
The Chief Legislative Counsel is Mr. Gordon Hebb.
Office of the Legislative Counsel
CIBC Building, Suite 802
1809 Barrington Street
PO Box 1116
Halifax, NS B3J 2X1
Copies of bills and statutes are available from:
Publications Nova Scotia
PO Box 637
Halifax, NS B3J 2T3
Phone: 902-424-5200 or 1-800-670-4537 (toll-free within Nova Scotia)