Chief Justice of Nova Scotia announces he will retire in February 2019

J. Michael MacDonald

May 4, 2018 – The Honourable J. Michael MacDonald, Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and the 22nd Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, has announced that he will retire from the Bench, effective February 1, 2019.

Born and raised in Whitney Pier, N.S., Chief Justice MacDonald received his B.A. at Mount Allison University and his LL.B. at Dalhousie University. He was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1979 and went on to practise with Boudreau, Beaton & LaFosse in Sydney, where he also served as President of the Cape Breton Barristers’ Society. He later joined Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales in Halifax and sat on various committees with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

He was appointed a judge of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in 1995 and an Associate Chief Justice of that Court three years later. He became Chief Justice of Nova Scotia in 2004 and is currently the Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

A member of the Canadian Judicial Council for close to 20 years, Chief Justice MacDonald has chaired several of its committees and presently chairs the Judicial Conduct Committee. For the past four years, he has also served alongside the provincial Minister of Justice on Nova Scotia’s Access to Justice Coordinating Committee.

The May 4 announcement triggers the selection process to appoint Nova Scotia’s next Chief Justice, an appointment made by the federal Cabinet based on recommendations from the Prime Minister of Canada.