Amendments introduced today, Nov. 8, will improve efficiencies in Nova Scotia’s justice system. Justice Minister Ross Landry introduced amendments to the Summary Proceedings Act and Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act. “We are improving the way we do business to better serve Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Landry. “These amendments will enhance our arraignment court process and provide better access to justice for those who need it.” In April, the province introduced amendments to the Summary Proceedings Act so Nova Scotians would not have to go to court to plead not guilty to summary offence tickets, such as open liquor or a motor vehicle offence. It would also allow for convictions if the person failed to comply with the court process. The proposed amendments will clarify that if a summary offence ticket is issued before the amendments come into place, the individual must appear in arraignment court to plead not guilty. The person then must return to court for trial on another date. Under the proposed system, Nova Scotians will only have to appear in court for trial. They will be able to go to a justice centre and receive a trial date from court staff. The amendments also clarify that the changes do not apply to youth. They must appear in arraignment court to enter a plea, which gives them access to a judge who can closely review the case. The Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act was enacted in 2003 to create a uniform standard to determine the most appropriate jurisdiction for court matters. Amendments to the act clarify language and correct a section reference.