Judicial Justices make decisions that have significant impacts on people’s lives. They preside in traffic and by-law trials in Provincial Court, issue search warrants, deal with pre-trial matters in problem-solving courts, and conduct bail hearings by telephone and video. Like judges, they attend two education conferences yearly in order to keep up with changes in the law, hone their judging skills, and learn about social context issues.
At their education conference last month, B.C.’s judicial justices heard from psychiatrists Dr. Johann Brink and Dr. William MacEwan about mental health issues in the justice system.
Judicial justices preside in telephone bail hearings at night and on weekends dealing with people who may be struggling with mental health issues. Education committee member and program organizer Judicial Justice Kathryn Arlitt said “This program helped judicial justices better understand the needs of mentally disordered accused persons, and balance their needs with the needs of the community and our legal obligations.”
The conference also included sessions on legal issues related to bail and traffic court, online legal research, and judicial ethics. For more information on Judicial Justices and their work visit this link on the Provincial Court website.