08/14/2012 11:25 EDT | Updated 10/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Justice Department considers merger of two provincial courts in Halifax

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia Justice Department is studying a proposal to merge two provincial courts.

Officials issued a request for proposal today to examine whether it's possible to expand the Spring Garden Road court location in Halifax in order to move the Dartmouth court program there.

Justice Minister Ross Landry says without some sort of consolidation of services both courts would have difficulty in meeting an increasing number of court hearings.

The department says a study in 1996 found that renovations to the Spring Garden location and the construction of an accompanying building to accommodate more courtrooms was feasible.

Landry says the current proposal is simply a first step before any decision is made on whether the two courts can be combined.