Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Nova Scotia

News release

February 20, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

The Honourable Robin Gogan, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, is appointed a Judge of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in Halifax. Justice Gogan replaces Justice D. Beveridge, who resigned effective April 3, 2023.

Terrance G. Sheppard, K.C., Partner at BOYNECLARKE LLP in Dartmouth, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division) in Truro. Justice Sheppard replaces Justice R.S. Morse (Truro), who resigned effective August 14, 2021.

Christine Doucet, Partner at MDW Law in Halifax, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division) in Halifax. Justice Doucet replaces Justice E. Jollimore (Halifax), who resigned effective August 31, 2023.


“I wish Justices Gogan, Sheppard, and Doucet every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Nova Scotia well as members of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.”

The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Robin Gogan was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 2013. She received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Francis Xavier University in 1991 and Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie Law School in 1994. She was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1995.

Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 2013, Justice Gogan served as managing partner with The Breton Law Group (2011-2013). She practiced with Sampson McDougall (1998-2011) where she became a partner in 2002. She was an associate with Anderson Nathanson (1995-1998). Her main practice areas were civil litigation, family law, wills and estates, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution.

Justice Gogan was a member of the Cape Breton Barristers’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Petroleum Foundation, the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. She was also a member of Family Mediation Canada and the ADR Institute of Canada.

Justice Terrance G. Sheppard, K.C., was raised in Sydney, Cape Breton. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science from the University of King's College, a Master of Arts in Political Science from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Law from Dalhousie University. He was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1999.

Justice Sheppard articled in Truro, practiced at Nova Scotia Legal Aid in Halifax and Antigonish, and worked at various private practice firms before becoming an associate at BOYNECLARKE LLP in 2002 and partner in 2006. He continued with that firm practicing family, criminal, and fertility law, until his appointment to the bench. He was appointed King's Counsel in 2021.

Justice Sheppard has contributed to his profession by serving as President of the Canadian Bar Association — Nova Scotia, appointed and later elected as the Halifax representative to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Council, member of the Adoption Appeal Board, the inaugural Chair of the Motor Vehicle Appeal Board, and Chair of the Family Law Standards Committee for the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society. He has volunteered on various boards and community organizations and is most proud of his advocacy in the area of fertility law for the last 20 years. He has lectured on the topic for the Schulich School of Law, CBA-NS, and Pride Week. He has been a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys since 2016.

Justice Sheppard and his wife, Teri Lynn, are the proud parents of Jonathan, Corina, Matthew, and Jessica, and proud grandparents of Jayce and Layla.

Justice Christine Doucet was raised in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. She obtained her Bachelor of Journalism with a Combined Honours in Law from Carleton University in 1996. She obtained her law degree in 2001 from Dalhousie Law School, where she was part of the winning Sopinka Cup trial moot team.  She was called to both the Ontario Bar and the British Columbia Bar in 2002, and to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2006.

Justice Doucet worked for several years as a journalist at the Halifax Chronicle Herald. She articled at Stikeman Elliott in Toronto and then practiced commercial litigation at Farris and Koffman Kalef in Vancouver. She worked as a legal recruiter in Halifax from 2006 to 2008 before joining McGinty Law as an associate. She then spent more than 15 years practicing family law at the same firm – now named MDW Law – becoming a partner in 2013 and serving as an integral part of its expansion and evolution.

Justice Doucet received advanced mediation training from Riverdale Mediation in Toronto and obtained CMed status from ADR Atlantic in 2021. She has instructed at the University of Kings College, Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, and various conferences and seminars in the areas of media law, family law and dispute resolution. She contributed to numerous Canadian Bar Association events and committees and served for three years as co-chair of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division) Liaison Committee.

Justice Doucet is married to Jamie Parsons and together they have three children.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 695 judges since November 2015. This includes 69 appointments since the Honourable Arif Virani became Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on July 26, 2023. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of racialized persons, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQI+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.

  • To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two associate judges at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.

  • Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.

  • Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.

  • The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.

  • Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.


For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Deputy Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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