Judicial Council

The Provincial Court Act of B.C. establishes Judicial Council, 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 - see the Ethical Principles for Judges, which applies to both judges and judicial justices.
  • reporting to the Attorney General on matters which she considers necessary.

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

  • the Chief Judge as chair (currently Chief Judge Thomas J. Crabtree)
  • 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 K. Kirkpatrick, P. Schwartz, G. McRae and P. Kelly)
  • the president of the Provincial Court Judges Association (currently Judge St. Pierre)
  • the president (or a designate of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association (currently M. Welsh)
  • a lawyer appointed by the Law Society of B.C. (currently H. Van Ommen, Q.C.)

The Judicial Council's process is governed by a Procedure Bylaw adopted March 23, 2001.

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.

The Judicial Council issues an Annual Report outlining its activities for the period covered.

(PDF - download acrobat reader)