Judicial Council

Call for Judicial Justice Applications

Annual Reports

The Provincial Court Act establishes the Judicial Council of British Columbia, a body of nine people, with responsibility for improving the quality of services provided by the judicial officers of the Provincial Court. Its main functions are to advise the government on the appointment of Provincial Court judges and judicial justices and, when necessary, to undertake inquiries into their conduct.

Its duties under the Provincial Court Act include:

  • screening candidates applying for appointment as judges and judicial justices, and retired judges' applications for reappointment
  • conducting inquiries regarding the conduct of judges and judicial justices - see Complaints
  • considering proposals for improving the Court’s judicial services
  • continuing the education of judicial officers
  • preparing and revising, in consultation with the judicial officers, a Code of Ethics for the judiciary
  • reporting to the Attorney General on matters which the Attorney General considers necessary.

Under section 21(2) of the Provincial Court Act Judicial Council consists of nine members:

  • the Chief Judge as presiding member (currently Chief Judge Melissa Gillespie)
  • an Associate Chief Judge as alternate presiding member (currently Associate Chief Judge S. Wishart)
  • four members appointed by the Attorney General of B.C. (currently P. Schwartz, G. McRae, P. Kelly and D. Bautista)
  • the president (or designate) of the Provincial Court Judges Association (currently Judge S. Keyes)
  • the president (or designate) of the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association (currently S. Morishita)
  • the president (or designate) of the Law Society of B.C. (currently J. Dhaliwal)

The Judicial Council's process is governed by a Procedure Bylaw adopted March 23, 2001 and updated December 17, 2021.

Judicial Council encourages applications from candidates of diverse backgrounds for appointment as judicial officers. Its efforts to ensure that its application process is as transparent as possible were recognized as "a model of transparency" in a resolution passed by the Canadian Bar Association in August 2013.

Read the Chief Judge’s August 3, 2012 letter to the President of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, and the President of the Law Society of British Columbia, re: Diversity in the Provincial Court of British Columbia.

To assist judges and judicial justices 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.

The Judicial Council issues an Annual Report outlining its activities.

(PDF - download acrobat reader)