HALIFAX -- An expert says Nova Scotia's justice minister acted prudently in asking an RCMP watchdog to investigate how the Mounties handled a woman's call for help before she tried to hire a hit man to kill her husband.

Ross Landry has sent Nicole Ryan's case to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

Paul McKenna of Dalhousie University says Landry's decision also has some risks.

The lecturer with the faculty of management says the agency has faced criticism over the years for failing to take a more aggressive approach to its investigations.

McKenna says the commission has also been hobbled by legislation that constrains it from digging deeply into police files and databases.

The Mounties conducted an internal review and concluded they acted appropriately when fielding complaints of abuse about her husband from Nicole Ryan.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a stay of proceedings in the Ryan case.

Ryan was arrested in 2008 when she tried to hire an undercover Mountie to kill Michael Ryan, who denies he was abusive.