Justice Minister Brad Johns. (Healey photo)

HALIFAX: Attorney General and Justice Minster Brad Johns has accepted the resignation of Karen Hudson, KC (King’s counsel), as acting director of the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Hudson is stepping down for health reasons.

“It is with sincere regret I accept the resignation of Ms. Hudson. I want to recognize and thank Karen for her many years of service in Nova Scotia’s justice community,” said Minister Johns.

“She has stepped up whenever asked and consistently demonstrated excellent ethics. Whether leading the Public Prosecution Service, the Department of Justice or Legal Aid, she has always had the best interests of Nova Scotians in mind.”


Ms. Hudson served for many years as executive director of Nova Scotia Legal Aid before being appointed deputy attorney general and deputy minister of justice in 2016.

She came out of retirement to be appointed acting director of the PPS in July.

Eric Ralph (Rick) Woodburn, KC, a senior Crown attorney with the PPS, has been appointed acting Director of the PPS for a term of six months effective November 23.

“I want to thank Mr. Woodburn for stepping into the acting director role. I am confident his more than two decades with the Public Prosecution Service will be an asset in leading the organization,” said Johns.


N.S. has engaged Royer Thompson to conduct a national search, expected to launch in the coming weeks, for a permanent PPS director.

“I have had the privilege of serving with many excellent Crown attorneys and support staff in the PPS and others in the justice system for the majority of my career.

For unanticipated health reasons, it is time that I step aside and allow others to carry on.”
     – Karen Hudson, outgoing acting director, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service


“It’s my honour to be appointed acting director of PPS, where I’ve spent the majority of my legal career. I look forward to working with the exceptional staff and PPS senior leadership team in my new role.”
     – Rick Woodburn, incoming acting director, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service

Quick Facts:
— Mr. Woodburn has worked at the PPS for 24 years; he is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School (now the Schulich School of Law)
— the PPS was created in 1990 as Canada’s first independent public prosecution service
— more than 100 Crown attorneys prosecute Criminal Code charges and provincial regulatory offences