Friday, February 22, 2013

Standing for Justices of the Peace

In Nova Scotia Presiding Justices of the Peace Association v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General), 2013 NSSC 40 the Nova Scotia Justice of the Peace association sued the Provincial Crown for various relief. The Crown (quite contrary to the weight of Canadian case law - some of which I have argued) said the Association had no standing.

The Court disagreed:

[52] The justices can sue the government. One, or a group of them, could have brought this proceeding. However, taking the issue to court through their association is more effective. That way, the justices speak with a single voice and prosecute their suit under well defined terms. That way, differences among the justices about positions or strategies are kept within the board of directors or the membership rather than aired in public. That way, justices do not stand as those who sued and those who did not sue, with the implications either might have for apparent independence.

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