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:
- Justice of the Peace Adjudicators preside in Small Claims Court hearing simplified trials in cases involving $5,001 to $10,000 in some courthouses.
- Judicial Case Managers handle trial scheduling and non-adjudicative court appearances.
- Court Services Justices of the Peace work in the court registries.
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.