First African Nova Scotian Chief Judge: Perry Borden’s Historic Appointment

Nova Scotia has marked a momentous occasion with the historic appointment of Perry F. Borden as the inaugural African Nova Scotian chief judge of the provincial and family courts.

Brad Johns, Attorney General and Minister of Justice for Nova Scotia, announced this groundbreaking appointment in a news release on August 24th. The effective date of this appointment is Sunday, August 27, 2023.

As the gavel of justice is handed over to Chief Judge Perry F. Borden, it marks a profound shift in the narrative of Nova Scotia’s legal sphere. Judge Borden’s accomplishments transcend barriers and break through glass ceilings, firmly placing him at the forefront of progress. He embodies the fundamental values of diversity and equality that resonate throughout contemporary society.

Judge Borden’s journey to this historic position is characterized by unwavering dedication and unparalleled excellence. Emerging from the vibrant north-end Halifax community, he embarked on his legal education at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law, culminating in his graduation in 2002. This educational foundation paved the way for an illustrious career that reached its pinnacle with his appointment as a Queen’s Counsel in 2020.

Before his ascent to the bench in 2020, Judge Borden’s legal voyage was distinguished by an unwavering commitment to justice and community empowerment. His tenure as a senior Crown attorney in the Halifax area exemplified his dedication to upholding the rule of law. Notably, he spearheaded the Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys Association, ardently advocating for the rights and well-being of legal professionals.

Stepping into the role of chief judge, Perry Borden shoulders the weight of responsibilities that underpin the very bedrock of the judicial system. His purview extends from managing court schedules to assigning judicial duties and presiding over cases. His leadership plays a pivotal role in maintaining the delicate equilibrium between efficiency and fairness. Chief Judge Borden’s sphere of influence even encompasses the oversight of Justices of the Peace in Provincial Court and Night Court, reaffirming an unwavering commitment to justice for all.

However, Chief Judge Borden’s impact transcends his legal achievements. He emerges as a beacon of empowerment for historically marginalized groups. His active involvement in the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Racial Equity Committee, coupled with his dedicated volunteer work with Justice Day Camp events, underscores his commitment to enhancing access to justice and legal services for all segments of the community.

The appointment of Chief Judge Perry F. Borden on August 27, 2023, marks a pivotal juncture in Nova Scotia’s legal narrative. As he takes the reins from outgoing Chief Judge Pamela S. Williams, the mantle of justice and equitable representation seamlessly transitions from one visionary leader to another. This transition holds the potential to significantly shape the trajectory of the province’s legal proceedings and stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of progress.

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