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CHAPTER 89

OF THE

REVISED STATUTES, 1989

amended 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 8, s. 4

NOTE - This electronic version of this statute is provided by the Office of the Legislative Counsel for your convenience and personal use only and may not be copied for the purpose of resale in this or any other form. Formatting of this electronic version may differ from the official, printed version. Where accuracy is critical, please consult official sources.

An Act for Expediting the
Decision of Constitutional and
Other Provincial Questions

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Constitutional Questions Act. R.S., c. 89, s. 1.

Interpretation

2 In this Act, "Court" means the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court. R.S., c. 89, s. 2.

Reference to Court

3 The Governor in Council may refer to the Court for hearing or consideration, any matter which he thinks fit to refer, and the Court shall thereupon hear and consider the same. R.S., c. 89, s. 3.

Opinion of Court

4 The Court shall certify to the Governor in Council its opinion on the matter referred, with the reasons therefor, which are to be given in like manner as in the case of a judgment in an ordinary action, and any judge who differs from the opinion of the majority shall, in like manner, certify his opinion, with his reasons therefor, to the Governor in Council. R.S., c. 89, s. 4.

Attorney General of Canada

5 If the matter relates to the constitutional validity of any Act which has heretofore been, or hereafter is passed by the Legislature, or of any provision in any such Act, the Attorney General of Canada shall be notified of the hearing, in order that he may be heard if he thinks fit. R.S., c. 89, s. 5.

Interested persons

6 The Court shall have power to direct that any person interested, or, where there is a class of persons interested, any one or more persons as representatives of such class, shall be notified of the hearing, and such persons shall be entitled to be heard. R.S., c. 89, s. 6.

Appointment of counsel

7 Where any interest affected is not represented by counsel, the Court may, in its discretion, request counsel to argue the case in such interest, and the reasonable expenses thereby occasioned shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of the Province. R.S., c. 89, s. 7.

Opinion as judgment

8 It is hereby declared that the opinion pronounced by the Court on the matter so referred is to be deemed a judgment of the Court, and that an appeal shall lie therefrom as from a judgment in an action. R.S., c. 89, s. 8.

Reference arising out of agreement

9 (1) Where a matter to be referred to the Court under this Act relates to questions arising out of an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia that provides for a reference to the Court to hear, consider and determine questions so arising, the form and terms of the reference shall be determined as provided in the agreement and, if no such provision is made, shall be such as are agreed upon by the parties to the agreement or, if they cannot agree, be such as are determined by the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia upon the application of either party.

(2) The Attorney General of Canada and the attorney general of any province, that has entered into an agreement of a like nature and having like purposes to the agreement referred to in subsection (1), may appear before the Court and be heard as a party in respect of any matter referred under this Act pursuant to that agreement. R.S., c. 89, s. 9.

Notice to Attorney General

10 (1) In this Section,

(a) "court" means the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, the Family Court, a judge of either of those courts, a judge of the provincial court or an administrative tribunal;

(b) "law" includes an Act of the Parliament of Canada or of the Legislature and includes a proclamation, regulation or order in council made pursuant to any such Act;

(c) "regulation" means a regulation as defined in the Regulations Act;

(d) "remedy" means a remedy provided pursuant to section 24 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but does not include a remedy of exclusion of evidence or a remedy consequential on exclusion of evidence.

(2) Where, in a court in the Province, in a proceeding other than a proceeding where the Attorney General for the Province is a party, is represented by counsel or has appointed counsel,

(a) the constitutional validity or constitutional applicability of any law is brought into question; or

(b) an application is made to obtain a remedy,

the court shall not adjudge the law to be invalid or inapplicable nor shall it grant the remedy until after notice is served on the Attorney General in accordance with this Section.

(3) Where, in a court of the Province, the validity or applicability of a proclamation, regulation or order in council made or purportedly made in the execution of a power given by an Act of the Legislature is brought into question on grounds other than those mentioned in subsection (2), the court shall not adjudge the proclamation, regulation or order in council to be invalid until after notice is served on the Attorney General for the Province in accordance with this Section.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a notice mentioned in subsection (2) or (3) is required to be served at least fourteen days before the day of argument.

(5) The court may, on an ex parte application made for the purpose, order an abridgement of the time for service of a notice mentioned in subsection (2) or (3).

(6) A notice mentioned in subsection (2) or (3) shall

(a) be headed in the action, cause, matter or proceeding in which the question arises or application is made;

(b) state

(c) state the day and place for the argument of the question; and

(d) give the particulars that are necessary to show the point to be argued.

(7) The Attorney General for the Province is entitled as of right to appear and be heard either in person or through counsel in any action, cause, matter or proceeding to which subsection (2) or (3) applies.

(8) Where the Attorney General for the Province appears in an action, cause, matter or proceeding to which subsection (2) or (3) applies, he is a party for the purposes of appeal from an adjudication therein respecting the validity or applicability of a law or respecting entitlement to a remedy. R.S., c. 89, s. 10; 1999 (2nd Sess.), c. 8, s. 4.

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