Dalhousie Law Journal


Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, impeachment, Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, judges, lawyers, judiciary, executive, legal history


In 1790 the Nova Scotia House of Assembly passed seven "articles of impeachment" against two ofthe colony's Supreme Courtjudges, the firstattempt bya British North American assembly to remove superior courtjudges. Although the impeachment failed when the British government rejected the charges, it is noteworthy nonetheless. The product of a dispute between newly arrived loyalist lawyers and a local elite of "old inhabitants, " it was at one and the same time a political struggle between the Assembly and the executive branch, and one that involved concerns about judicial competence. The impeachment crisis also demonstrates the close links between the judiciary and executive in the preresponsible government era.