Qualified applicants are invited to apply for part-time appointment as Judicial Justices

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The Judicial Council of BC is looking for qualified applicants interested in part time adjudication work as a judicial justice of the BC Provincial Court. British Columbia’s judicial justices are judicial officers who exercise authority under various provincial and federal laws. Assigned a variety of duties by the Chief Judge, some judicial justices preside in courtrooms around the province while others consider search warrant applications and hear applications for detention or bail at the Court’s Justice Centre in the Lower Mainland.

The work of a judicial justice

Judicial justices may preside in court at trials of traffic and other ticketable offences under provincial laws, or at trials of municipal bylaw matters. They may also conduct small claims payment hearings. For this work they may be assigned to sit in courthouses within a region, although some travel may be required to assist other regions. Those assigned to judicial duties at the Justice Centre will deal with written search warrant applications and bail hearings that may be conducted by telephone or video from around the province. Assignment to the Justice Centre may include evening shifts.

After appointment, judicial justices receive training before embarking on their assignments. They subsequently attend continuing education programs twice a year. Like the Provincial Court’s judges, its judicial justices are guided by the Ethical Principles for Judges.

Judicial justice Laurie Langford comments on the satisfaction she derives from her work, “For many people, Traffic Court is their first and only contact with the justice system. Overseeing a process, at the end of which the participants leave the courtroom feeling that they understood what happened and were fairly treated, is very rewarding.”

Judicial Justice Hunter Gordon reflects on his experience as a part-time Judicial Justice, “In 2007, I was a semi-retired lawyer with little background in criminal law, but on my appointment was able to learn quite quickly the law needed to hear bail applications over the phone and applications for different types of warrants at the Justice Centre. Higher court decisions on Charter issues require us to constantly “keep up” with the refinements of the law on bail and judicial authorizations. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to attend a number of courses and conferences in which these and other topics relevant to our jurisdiction are discussed, and colleagues are generous in sharing relevant decisions.

I now also hear “traffic court” (mostly motor vehicle tickets but also tickets involving other provincial statutes like the Wildfire, Wildlife, and Environmental Waste acts). From time to time, I also hear Payment Hearings under the Small Claims Act, and orders of payment from Residential Tenancy Arbitrators and the Civil Resolution Tribunal. Each of these assignments has a different attraction for me. I thoroughly enjoy my assignments both at the Justice Centre and in Traffic Court.”

For more information on judicial justices’ work, see section 30.2 of the Provincial Court Act and the Chief Judge’s current assignment of duties to judicial justices.

Qualifications required

The Judicial Council seeks applicants having practiced as a lawyer in Canada for at least 5 years although those with less legal practice experience may be considered if they have a range of related experience. Along with lawyers currently practising, retired judicial officers and lawyers from across Canada are invited to apply.

In addition:

  • Applicants must be eligible for appointment as a justice of the peace for British Columbia.
  • Experience in criminal law and adjudication, dispute resolution, or other forms of decision-making on a professional level is an asset but not essential.
  • Applicants should have demonstrated an ability to deal effectively and professionally with people of diverse backgrounds in adversarial and stressful situations.
  • Applicants must be prepared to work shifts as part of an up-to 24 hour operation, including weekends and statutory holidays.
  • The duties may require travel.
  • Professional references, medical report and criminal record check are required.

See the Judicial Council’s Criteria and competencies for appointment as a Provincial Court Judicial Justice.

Application and appointment process

To apply, submit a confidential online application accessed through the Provincial Court website.
Short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview with the Judicial Council at the Office of the Chief Judge in Vancouver. If approved by the Council, candidates will be eligible to be recommended to the Lieutenant Governor in Council for appointment as a judicial justice at any time within a three year period following the interview, though no such appointment can be assured.

Terms of appointment

This position is a judicial appointment within the Provincial Court of BC. Currently, appointments will be on a part time basis for one fixed term of 12 years pursuant to the Provincial Court Act, section 30.2.

Remuneration will be on a per diem basis as fixed by the Judicial Compensation Commission in accordance with the Judicial Compensation Act (currently $782.25 per day, with a Judicial Compensation Commission process taking place this year).

Part time judicial justices may continue to practice law (other than criminal law) and devote a mutually agreed amount of time to the Court.

Find more information about the appointment process and the Court at https://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/about-the-court/judicial-officers/judicial-justices.

To apply, please submit an online application through the Provincial Court website: https://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/about-the-court/judicial-officers/appointment-judicial-justices.