It may seem that courts are slow to change – after all, judges wearing robes still sit at big desks at the front of our courtrooms and apply legal principles, some of which date back hundreds of years. But retired judges in BC have seen huge changes in the Provincial Court and its work over the last 45 years.
Judging in Canada is not often a family affair, but occasionally two members of the same family have been appointed and served on courts in BC at the same time. There have been brothers and sisters-in-law on various BC courts simultaneously, and sisters on our Provincial Court together, but now the BC Provincial Court has judges who are mother and daughter – likely a first in Canada!
When a lawyer is appointed a judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia it usually makes news – often an article in the local newspaper in a size inversely proportional to the size of the community. So, in Vancouver there’ll be a short paragraph while in smaller communities more background detail and perhaps a photograph.
Judges find different ways to deal with the stress of their work and the fact that they usually see people in crisis rather than during happy times. Some volunteer, some participate in athletic activities, and some do both.
This week's eNews describes the varied activities of a judge who does both with ferocious energy and commitment.
In a December 18, 2016 opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun, BC’s Chief Justice Robert Bauman described a typical day in the life of a judge. While he wrote about the work of judges in BC’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, his comments apply to Provincial Court judges as well. Here’s what the Chief Justice said: