Justices of the Peace

More than 300 justices of the peace serve communities of every size throughout the province, performing a variety of important roles in the justice system.

Both federal and provincial laws give powers to justices of the peace. Section 30 of the Provincial Court Act defines the office of Justice of the Peace, and sections 30.2 and 30.3 create a class of
judicial justices with the degree of tenure and financial security required by impartial, independent judicial officers.

The Chief Judge of the Provincial Court determines the assignments of justices of the peace in each of three roles:

To assist judicial justices and judges 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.

Other justices of the peace are guided by the Justice of the Peace Code of Ethics. Complaints about the conduct of these judicial officers go through the same process as that established for judges.