Appointment of Judges

Appointment Process
If you wish to apply

Appointment Process

In British Columbia, judges are appointed to the Provincial Court by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (the Lieutenant Governor acting on the advice of the provincial Cabinet) on the recommendation of the Judicial Council of BC. The Judicial Council screens and approves applicants as qualified for appointment. The provincial Attorney General selects from the candidates approved by Judicial Council and makes recommendations to Cabinet.

Guidelines for the conduct of judges are found in Ethical Principles for Judges. Candidates for appointment as a judge must have at least ten years experience in the practice of law (working as a lawyer) or a range of related experience. The Judicial Council has established this and other criteria that include a wide range of skills or competencies. These help to ensure that the candidates appointed are exceptional individuals who demonstrate the highest professional qualifications, temperament, ability, and community respect.

In order to ensure they meet these high standards, the Judicial Council requires lawyers seeking appointment as judges to submit detailed applications. The Council then asks the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of B.C. to investigate each applicant. Credit, driving and criminal record checks are also conducted. Members of the Council review the applications, investigations, and references; conduct interviews; and approve qualified candidates for recommendation. When an opening is available, the Chief Judge sends the Attorney General a list of approved candidates who are eligible for appointment to that region.

The Judicial Council attempts to ensure that the diversity of BC’s population is reflected on the Provincial Court bench. Applicants are invited to include information relating to their ethnic or cultural backgrounds in their applications if they wish. Judicial Council may consider factors such as the applicants’ gender, age, ethnicity, region and type of practice.

Once appointed, a judge can only be removed before retirement for misconduct or inability to perform duties properly. The standard of conduct expected of Provincial Court judges is outlined in the Ethical Principles for Judges (PDF - download acrobat reader). See Complaints for information on judicial discipline.

For more information on judicial appointments, see section 6(1) of the Provincial Court Act, the Judicial Council’s Annual Reports (includes applicants’ demographics – gender, age, indicated ethnic backgrounds, etc.) and the Provincial Court’s Annual Reports (includes appointees’ demographics).

If you wish to apply

Judicial Council welcomes the interest of qualified persons wishing to be considered for appointment to the Provincial Court of British Columbia.

Before proceeding with an application, review the criteria and competencies for appointment and the Judicial Candidate Process Summary. You may wish to use the Judicial Candidate Worksheet to collect the information you need to complete the application.

Applications on paper are no longer accepted. All applications must be made using our online system. You begin by creating a user account. Once you log in, select Judicial Candidate Application form. You can save your partially completed application, log out, and log in later. When ready, submit the Judicial Candidate Application and a digital photograph of yourself to the Office of the Chief Judge.

You must also complete the following documents online:

  • Consent for Disclosure of Personal Information
  • Law Society Authorization and Release
  • Online background eConsent forms

and print and sign the Consent for Release of Medical Information form for your physician to complete.

Begin Your Application

Application for Reappointment

Retired judges who have not served part-time as a senior judge may apply for reappointment and Judicial Council welcomes their interest. Before proceeding with an application, applicants should read the Judicial Re-Appointment Process Summary. You may wish to use the Judicial Re-Appointment Candidate Worksheet to collect the information you need to complete the application.

All applications must be made using our online system. You begin by creating a user account. Once you log in, select the Judicial Re-Appointment Application form. You can save your partially completed application, log out, and log in later. When ready, submit the Judicial Re-Appointment Application and a digital photograph of yourself to the Office of the Chief Judge.

You must also complete the following documents online:

  • Office of the Chief Judge Authorization and Release form
  • Online background eConsent forms

and print and sign the Consent for Release of Medical Information form for your physician to complete.

Begin Your Application

Revised September 2017