THE ADVOCATE 733
VOL. 77 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2019
By the Honourable David Eby, Q.C.*
Many lawyers in British Columbia have surely considered applying to be
appointed as a Provincial Court judge. Unfortunately, the high-profile
appointment process for new judges often overshadows a similar and no
less important opportunity for lawyers to contribute to the work of our
Provincial Court: appointment as a judicial justice.
If you have never considered applying to be appointed as a judicial justice,
perhaps now is your time.
The Provincial Court Act establishes, in part, the jurisdiction and duties of
judicial justices of the Provincial Court.
Like Provincial Court judges, judicial justices have their workload
assigned by the chief judge, and they perform a variety of duties on behalf
of the court. Some preside in court and hear traffic matters, ticketable
offences under provincial legislation, municipal bylaw matters and small
claims payment hearings.
Most frequently, judicial justices hear matters involving self-represented
litigants. As a result, the ability to navigate the expectations of, and challenges
faced by, people who are unfamiliar with court processes and have
not received legal advice is central. Judicial justices are often required to
deal with high case volumes and are expected to turn around decisions in
an efficient manner to ensure the court continues to operate effectively.
Given the frequent need for urgent access to judicial justices for federal
and provincial search warrant and production order applications, as well as
applications for detention or bail, British Columbia has implemented an
innovative solution in partnership with judicial justices and our Provincial
Court: the Justice Centre.
* The Honourable David Eby, Q.C., is British Columbia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General.