There are currently about 150 Provincial Court judges in various locations throughout the province. When appointed, each judge is assigned an office in a particular judicial region, though many judges are required to travel regularly to other areas, in order to meet the demand for judges in the more than 80 locations where Provincial Court is held.
Most Provincial Court judges work full-time. However, judges aged 55 or older, with at least 10 years of service, may elect to hold office as a part-time judge.
Judges conduct trials and other proceedings in criminal, youth, family, and civil matters. They also perform judicial mediation in family and civil settlement conferences. But judges also do considerable work outside the courtroom – reading, writing, public speaking, and committee work.
When they reserve judgment, judges research and prepare written reasons for their decisions. In order to keep abreast of the law they regularly read new legislation as well as reasons for judgment issued by other Provincial Court judges and by judges of other courts, particularly BC courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. They also read articles commenting on recent judgments and on trends in the law.
Judges consider written applications for search warrants in their offices. They also speak frequently to students, service clubs, community groups, justice system professionals and others. They attend swearing in ceremonies for police officers and municipal councils and school boards. Many judges also volunteer their time to serve on committees to help the Court or to liaise with court users and community organizations. Judges also organize and present education programs for their colleagues.
To assist judges and judicial justices with difficult ethical and professional issues and to assist members of the public to better understand the judicial role, the BC Judicial Council has adopted the Ethical Principles for Judges published by the Canadian Judicial Council in 2021, except for its commentary on “Post-Judicial Careers” in s. 5.E.2 restricting the types of activities a judge can engage in upon leaving the judicial office and returning to the legal profession.
For more information on the life of a judge see:
A day in the life of a Provincial Court judge, VictoriaNews
A day in the life of one of Vernon's Provincial Court Judges, infonews.ca
Provincial court judges released for 27 years' good behavior, Northshore News
Retired Provincial Court Judge speaks of his time on the bench, Salmon Arm Observer (VIDEO)
What judges do in a day, Vancouver Sun
and to read about the welcoming ceremony held for each new judge see:
Ceremony held for new judge, Williams Lake Tribune
New Fort St. John judge approaches court with compassion, patience, Alaska Highway News
For changes to the Court’s judicial complement (appointments, retirements, elections to serve as a Senior Judge) see the Court’s monthly Judicial Complement Reports.
Judges sitting as of June 2, 2023 by region:
- Office Of The Chief Judge
- Fraser Region
- Interior Region
- Northern Region
- Vancouver Region
- Vancouver Island Region
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUDGE
GILLESPIE, MELISSA (Chief Judge)
DOHM, PAUL (Associate Chief Judge)
WISHART, SUSAN (Associate Chief Judge)
The Chief Judge and Associate Chief Judges are also listed in a region below, since they sit in court in addition to their administrative responsibilities.
BOWRY, RITA - Regional Administrative Judge
Brown, Gregory (Senior Judge)
Cohen, Gary (Senior Judge)
Dohm, Paul (Associate Chief Judge)
Dossa, Shehni (Senior Judge)
Gill, Gurmail (Senior Judge)
Gillespie, Melissa (Chief Judge)
La Prairie, Peter
KOTURBASH, GREGORY - Regional Administrative Judge
Skilnick, Kenneth (Senior Judge)
STRUYK, CALVIN - Regional Administrative Judge
Blaskovits, Richard (Senior Judge)
Brecknell, Michael (Senior Judge)
Daley, Brian (Senior Judge)
Jackson, William (Senior Judge)
MILNE, JOHN - Regional Administrative Judge
Challenger, Joanne (Senior Judge)
Dhillon, Harbans (Senior Judge)
Janzen, Patricia (Senior Judge)
Phillips, Nancy (Senior Judge)
Raven, Rose (Senior Judge)
St. Pierre, David
VANCOUVER ISLAND REGION
ROGERS, CARMEN - Regional Administrative Judge
Brooks, Adrian (Senior Judge)
MacCarthy, Parker (Senior Judge)
McKimm, Mayland (Senior Judge)
Mrozinski, Lisa (Senior Judge)
Saunders, Justine (Senior Judge)
Wishart, Susan (Associate Chief Judge)
This list does not include judges who are not sitting due to long term disability conditions.