B.C. Provincial Court a leader in judicial application process transparency

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In order to be appointed a Provincial Court Judge you must be a lawyer with ten years’ experience practising law or sufficient related experience. During the period from 2011 through 2013, applicants averaged 21.8 years practising law.

You apply for appointment and are screened by Judicial Council, a body consisting of four people appointed by the BC Attorney General (currently including two people who are neither lawyers nor judges), two lawyers representing the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of BC, and three judges (the Chief Judge, an Associate Chief Judge, and a representative of the Provincial Court Judges Association). Judicial Council decides whether applicants are qualified for appointment based on criteria set out in the application form, and the Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints judges from those deemed qualified.

This appointment process is designed to guard against the negative effects of political appointments and to ensure appointments based on merit.

Judicial Council has demonstrated its commitment to transparency by reporting the ages and genders of applicants in its annual reports since 1999. It also reports the total number of applicants, the number of applicants interviewed, and the number approved for appointment. While the number and gender distribution of applicants has remained generally constant, the proportion of women Judicial Council has recommended for appointment has increased in recent years.

Judicial Council encourages a broad range of diverse lawyers to apply for appointment to the Court. As part of its efforts in that regard it has undertaken to include the numbers of applicants identifying themselves as aboriginal or members of an ethnic or visible minority group in its 2014 Annual Report.

For more information on appointment of judges see Judicial Candidate Process Summary andJudges of the Court on the Provincial Court website. See also Judicial Council’s annual reports at Judicial Council.