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Office of the Registrar of Regulations 

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About the Office of the Registrar of Regulations

 The law must be known and understood by those who are bound by it.

The mandate of the Office of the Registrar of Regulations ('Registry of Regulations') is to ensure that Nova Scotia's regulations are accessible. It fulfills this mandate by reviewing all draft regulations for plain language and consistency, and by registering, publishing, consolidating and revising Nova Scotia's regulations and maintaining records about all active and repealed regulations.

Regulations are laws made by delegated officials under the authority of a Provincial statute. (In Nova Scotia, the Office of the Legislative Counsel is responsible for statutes.) These delegated officials are usually:

  • the Governor in Council (cabinet and the Lieutenant Governor)
  • Ministers of government departments
  • boards, commissions or agencies of government
  • professional associations or bodies

Draft regulations are submitted from all government departments to be reviewed and approved by the office's editors. The editors review, analyze and often re-write the text to ensure that the laws are expressed in as simple and straightforward language as possible, without compromising the legal effect of the text.

Once a regulation is made, it is filed with our office, given an N.S. Regulations number and published in the bi-weekly issue of the Royal Gazette Part II. The regulation is then consolidated together with all other amendments to the original regulations and published online.  The office also maintains a detailed legislative history of each set of regulations, broken down by provision. Approximately 300-400 regulations are filed with the office annually.

Since 1996, the office has also been responsible for publishing the Royal Gazette Part I, which is the official weekly government record of Cabinet proclamations, Orders in Council, and notices made under Provincial statutes. Under subsection 17(2) of the Communications and Information Act, all advertisements, notices or publications required by law to be published by government must be published in the Royal Gazette unless some other mode of publishing is directed by law.

Our office consists of 5 staff:  the Registrar, Deputy Registrar, 1 Regulations Editor, and 2 Regulations Publications Officers.

The Office of the Registrar of Regulations was created in 1977 by the Regulations Act (R.S.N.S 1989, Chapter 393), and is part of the Legal Services Division of the Department of Justice.

Download or view "The Office of the Registrar of Regulations: An Overview of its Role, Practices and Procedures" (in PDF) for an overview of the office's role and functions from this page: Overview of Office.

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Please send comments to:  Office of the Registrar of Regulations