Under section 10(1) of the Provincial Court Act, the Chief Judge is appointed for a term of seven years.
The Current Chief Judge
Chief Judge Melissa Gillespie
Chief Judge Gillespie was born and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. She received her law degree from the University of Toronto and was called to the BC Bar (licensed to practise law in BC) in 1991. Soon after that, she began her legal career as Crown Counsel working in New Westminster, Surrey and Burnaby. From 2000 until 2003, she served as Administrative Crown Counsel in Surrey. She then became Deputy Regional Crown Counsel, and in 2005 Regional Crown Counsel for the Fraser Region. Appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2009, Chief Judge Gillespie was sworn in as a Provincial Court judge in February 2012.
Following her appointment she presided in the Fraser Region. In addition to sitting assignments, Chief Judge Gillespie was active in delivering education programs to judges and judicial justices, as well as to the larger legal community. She also served as a member of the executive of the BC Provincial Court Judges Association for several years.
Chief Judge Gillespie was appointed an Associate Chief Judge for a two year term in April 2016 and re-appointed for a three year term in April 2018. A member of the Board of Directors of the Justice Education Society, she has participated in a Justice Education Society project to strengthen the criminal justice system in Guyana.
She was appointed Acting Chief Judge on May 7, 2018 and appointed Chief Judge on October 19, 2018 for a seven year term.
Past Chief Judges
2010 – 2018 - Chief Judge Thomas J. Crabtree
2009 - 2010 - Chief Judge James J. Threlfall (Acting)
2005 - 2009 - Chief Judge Hugh C. Stansfield
2000 - 2005 - Chief Judge Carol Baird Ellan
1995 - 2000 - Chief Judge Robert W. Metzger
1989 - 1995 - Chief Judge William J. Diebolt
1988 - 1989 - Chief Judge I. Bruce Josephson
1983 - 1988 - Chief Judge Gerald R.B. Coultas
1978 - 1983 - Chief Judge Lawrence S. Goulet
1972 - 1978 - Chief Judge Lawrence C. Brahan
1970 - 1972 - Senior Judge Cyril White