Dalhousie Law Journal


Nova Scotia, Legal Literature, Historical Review, select bibliography


Expressed in simplest terms Nova Scotia law, generally speaking, is an amalgamation of English common law, English statute law and the provincial statutes which evolved following the convening of the first representative government at Halifax on October 2, 1758. From the capture of Port Royal in 1710 (which by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 guaranteed Acadia to the British), to the establishment of an elected assembly 48 years later, law and order were maintained at first by military law and, following the appointment of Richard Philipps as governor at Annapolis Royal, by the issue of royal instructions dated June 19, 1719. When Halifax was founded in 1749 Governor Cornwallis' instructions from the Lords of Trade, April 29, 1749, granted him more sweeping powers, with the result that the colonists were governed in large measure by executive acts and royal instructions until the first assembly was called nine years later.

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