New appointment to the Provincial & Family Courts: The Hon. Judge Diane L. McGrath

The Honourable Chief Judge Pamela Williams is pleased to welcome senior Crown prosecutor Diane McGrath QC as the newest judge of the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia.

Attorney General and Justice Minister Mark Furey made the announcement on September 19. The appointment is effective immediately.

“I’m thrilled that Nova Scotia has another strong and experienced woman on the Bench, especially one with Judge McGrath’s background and expertise,” Chief Judge Williams said in a Sept. 19 statement released by the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary.

“As a prosecutor, Judge McGrath always had a reputation for being fair and professional, and I’m confident she will carry those traits over to her duties as a judge.”

Having worked 23 years as a lawyer, Judge McGrath has extensive experience in both criminal and family law. She served as a Domestic Violence Educator and Co-trainer with the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service and helped develop and implement the Domestic Violence Court Program in Sydney. As a Crown, she was also a member of the prosecution service’s Sexual Assault Working Group.

Judge McGrath was a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She was elected to NSBS Council for Cape Breton District in 2013, 2015 and again in 2017, and had just begun her third term on Council at the time of her judicial appointment. She was a former Vice-Chair and a member of the Credentials Committee (2006-2014), a member of the Complaints Investigation Committee, Entity Regulation and Risk Working Group and the Supreme Court Liaison Committee (2003-2007). She also volunteered with the Bar Admission Course.

Before she joined the PPS, Judge McGrath practised in Sydney with Nova Scotia Legal Aid and in private practice with H.F. Macintyre & Associates. She received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2011. Judge McGrath has also been involved in several community organizations over the years, including Canadian Parents for French, the Kiwanis Club of Sydney, the Girl Guides, Scouts Canada, and her local church.

Judge McGrath was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Bench when former Provincial Court Judge Anne Derrick was appointed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in July.

This appointment brings the Provincial and Family Courts to a full complement of 35 full-time sitting judges and nine part-time judges, 19 of those being women (17 full-time and two part-time female judges). For more information on the Courts and the Nova Scotia Judiciary, please visit