The Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints Provincial Court Judges on the recommendation of the Judicial Council, pursuant to section 6(1) of the Provincial Court Act. Once appointed, removal of a judge before retirement can only occur as a result of inappropriate behaviour or inability to perform duties properly. The standard of conduct expected of Provincial Court Judges is detailed in the Code of Judicial Ethics (PDF - download acrobat reader).
There currently are about 150 Provincial Court Judges in various locations throughout the province. When appointed, each judge is assigned court chambers in a particular judicial district, though he or she may be required to travel to other locations from time to time, as required by the Chief Judge.
Most Provincial Court Judges work full-time. However, judges 55 or older, with at least 10 years of service, may elect to hold office as a part-time judge. In addition, some judges work after retirement on an ad hoc basis.
Judicial Council welcomes the interest of qualified persons wishing to be considered for appointment to the Bench of the Provincial Court of British Columbia. Before proceeding with an application, applicants are encouraged to read the Judicial Candidate Process Summary.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints Provincial Court Judges on the recommendation of the Judicial Council. Members of the Council review applications, conduct interviews and approve candidates for appointment. When an opening is available, the Chief Judge sends the Attorney General a list of approved candidates who are eligible for appointment to that district.
Judicial Council assesses each applicant using the following criteria:
- Typically 10 years in the active practice of law. Those with less legal practice are considered if they have a range of related experience.
Legal reputation, including
- reference from the Canadian Bar Association and Judges before whom the applicant has appeared; and
- review of candidate's professional record from the Law Society of British Columbia.
- General knowledge of and experience in the law and Provincial Court procedure, preferably with recent practice in criminal, family, and /or civil litigation.
- Experience in mediation or alternative dispute resolution.
- Willingness to learn and a demonstrated commitment to continuing professional education.
- Knowledge of and sensitivity to current issues facing the courts, the judiciary and the justice system.
- Ability to listen and communicate effectively.
- Personal characteristics such as decisiveness, evenness of temperament, fairness, open-mindedness, and common sense.
- Compassion for those coming before the Court and an understanding of their circumstances.
- Respect in the community.
- Good health.
- Passion and enthusiasm.
- Balanced relationships with peers and subordinates.
- Adaptability and flexibility with respect to job changes.
- Appreciation of and experience with diversity.
- Demonstrated dedication to public service.
- Ability to cooperate and work with others.
- Understanding of the role of the Court in society, and respective roles of the judiciary and other participants in the justice system.
- Willingness to travel and to adjudicate in all subject areas.
Applicants must complete a Judicial Candidate Application and submit 5 copies, each with an original, current, passport-type photograph, to the Office of the Chief Judge. Applicants must also complete one copy each of the Consent for Disclosure of Personal Information; the Law Society Authorization and Release; and the Consent for Release of Medical Information. For additional information, please refer to the “Judicial Candidate Process Summary” (above).
Judicial Council welcomes the interest of retired judges wishing to be considered for re-appointment to the Provincial Court of British Columbia. Before proceeding with an application, applicants are encouraged to read the Judicial Re-Appointment Process Summary.
Applicants must complete a Judicial Re-Appointment Application and submit 5 copies, each with an original, current, passport-type photograph, to the Office of the Chief Judge. Retired Judges must also have their general practitioner complete and submit one copy of the Consent for Release of Medical Information. Forms should be mailed to:
Judicial Council of British Columbia
602 - 700 West Georgia Street
PO Box 10287, Pacific Centre
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1E8
For additional information, please refer to the "Judicial Re-Appointment Process Summary” (above).