Family and friends of victim Joey Webber attend a march demanding an inquiry into the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people, in Bible Hill, N.S. on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. A lawyer representing eight media outlets submitted an application Monday for a judicial review of decisions that redacted search warrants before being released to the public. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

A lawyer for eight news media outlets is challenging the decisions of a Nova Scotia Provincial Court judge who authorized heavy redactions of RCMP search warrants connected to the mass shooting in April that claimed 22 lives.

David Coles submitted an application Monday for a judicial review of decisions Judge Laurel Halfpenny-MacQuarrie made last month, arguing she had exceeded her jurisdiction.

Coles' application says the judge went too far in authorizing permanent and temporary redactions in the documents and that the media have been denied the right to argue against those decisions.

The lawyer says the judge has declined to unseal information based on what he says is speculation unsupported by the evidence.

The RCMP have released several search warrants and production orders since their investigation began regarding the April 18-19 killings, but most of the documents remain heavily redacted.

Search warrants are supposed to be made public after they have been executed, with some exceptions, but in this case the Crown has produced documents that are largely blacked out and beyond public scrutiny.

Crown attorneys Mark Heerema and Shauna MacDonald have argued that certain information -- including the models of guns the killer used -- should remain sealed for six months.

They say the content pertaining to innocent persons should be sealed permanently.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2020.