Under section 10(1) of the Provincial Court Act, the Chief Judge is appointed for a term of seven years.
The Current Chief Judge
Chief Judge Thomas J. Crabtree
Chief Judge Crabtree was born in London, England in 1955 and raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. After receiving a BA from the University of British Columbia in 1978 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria in 1983, he was called to the British Columbia bar in 1984. At the time of his appointment to the Provincial Court he was a partner in the law firm of Patten Crabtree in the upper Fraser Valley and had a varied practice with an emphasis in criminal and civil litigation. Chief Judge Crabtree is married with two adult children.
Appointed a judge of the Provincial Court in February 1999 and initially assigned to the North Fraser District, Chief Judge Crabtree moved to the South Fraser District in 2000. He was appointed Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia on April 8, 2010.
During his time on the bench, Chief Judge Crabtree has contributed to a number of the Court’s committees, including: member and chair of the BC Provincial Court Judges Association’s Education Committee 2004 – 2008; member of the Association Executive 2004 - 2008; chair of the 2007 Joint CAPCJ, AJA & BCPCJA Conference Education Committee; and chair of the Court’s Education Review Committee. In addition, Chief Judge Crabtree participates in the Provincial Court Journalism Students’ Education Program, and is the Court’s representative on the board of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC.
Chief Judge Crabtree has also spoken at and participated in numerous panels at judicial education conferences including: the CAPCJ New Judges Program at Lac Carling; the International Conference on Training the Judiciary; and various National Judicial Institute programs. He has also been involved in educational programs at the Chilliwack Courthouse and the Elder College at the University of the Fraser Valley, as well as in Moot Court programs at the UBC Law School.
Past Chief Judges
2009 - 2010 - Chief Judge James J. Threlfall (Acting)
2005 - 2009 - Chief Judge Hugh C. Stansfield
2000 - 2005 - Chief Judge Carol Baird Ellan
1995 - 2000 - Chief Judge Robert W. Metzger
1989 - 1995 - Chief Judge William J. Diebolt
1988 - 1989 - Chief Judge I. Bruce Josephson
1983 - 1988 - Chief Judge Gerald R.B. Coultas
1978 - 1983 - Chief Judge Lawrence S. Goulet
1972 - 1978 - Chief Judge Lawrence C. Brahan
1970 - 1972 - Senior Judge Cyril White