Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Provincial Court Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 379

Contents
 1 Definitions
 2 Provincial Court continued
 2.1 Exclusive jurisdiction of judge
 3 Family proceedings open except as provided
 4 Supreme Court proceedings in family matters
 5 Family court committee
 6 Appointment and reappointment of judges
 7 Temporary assignment
 8 Temporary judge
 9 Repealed
 9.1 Judges electing to hold office as senior judge
 10 Chief, associate and administrative judges
 11 Powers and duties of chief judge
 12–13 Repealed
 14 Duties of judge
 15, 15.1–16 Repealed
 17 Term of office
 18 Powers after leaving office
 19–19.8 Repealed
 20 Repealed
 21 Judicial council
 22 Object of council
 22.1 Investigations
 23 Attorney General may order inquiry
 24 If an inquiry is ordered
 25 Complaints respecting chief judge
 26 Scope of inquiry
 27 Inquiry procedure
 27.1 Maintenance of order at hearings
 27.2 Power to enforce summons and punish for contempt
 27.3 Immunity protection
 28 Powers of the tribunal
 29 Appeal to Court of Appeal
 30 Justice of the peace
 30.1 Repealed
 30.2 Judicial justices
 30.3 Deemed judicial justices
 30.4 Duties of judicial justices
 31 Jurisdiction of justice
 32 Salary and pension of justice of the peace
 32.1 Repealed
 33 Term of office
 34 Conflict of interest
 35–40 Repealed
 41 Court operation and administration
 41.1 Judicial administrative regions
 42 Immunities from civil liability
 43 Payment to the government by court and municipalities from fines and other penalties
 44 References in other enactments

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"council" means the judicial council continued under section 21;

"court" means the Provincial Court of British Columbia;

"full time judge" means a judge, other than a judge appointed under section 6 (1) (b) (i) or a senior judge;

"full time judicial justice" means

(a) a judicial justice appointed under section 30.2 (1) on a full time basis, or

(b) a person who, under section 30.3 (1) or (2), is deemed to be a judicial justice appointed under section 30.2 (1) on a full time basis;

"judge" means a judge of the court and includes the chief judge, associate chief judge and regional administrative judges;

"judicial administrative region" means an area of British Columbia that is prescribed under section 41.1 to be a judicial administrative region;

"judicial complement" means the number of judges prescribed under section 6.1;

"judicial justice" means a full time judicial justice or a part time judicial justice;

"justice" means a judicial justice or a justice of the peace;

"justice of the peace" means a justice of the peace appointed under section 30 (1);

"part time judicial justice" means

(a) a judicial justice appointed under section 30.2 (1) on a part time basis, or

(b) a person who, under section 30.3 (3), is deemed to be a judicial justice appointed under section 30.2 (1) on a part time basis;

"proceeding" means a matter, cause or action, whether civil or criminal, before the court;

"senior judge" means a judge who

(a) was appointed under section 6 (1) (b) (ii) or (iii) to hold office as a part time judge or is appointed under section 6 (1) (b) (ii) or (iii) to hold office as a senior judge, or

(b) elected under section 9.1 (1) to hold office as a part time judge or elects under section 9.1 (1) to hold office as a senior judge.

Provincial Court continued

2  (1) The Provincial Court of British Columbia is continued.

(2) The court is a court of record.

(3) The court and every judge have jurisdiction throughout British Columbia to exercise all the power and perform all the duties conferred or imposed on a judge of the Provincial Court, a magistrate, justice or 2 or more justices sitting together, under an enactment of British Columbia or of Canada.

(4) [Repealed 2002-37-14.]

(5) The court is designated as the youth justice court for purposes of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) and a judge is a youth justice court judge under that Act by virtue of the judge's appointment under this Act.

(6) The court may sit at any place in British Columbia for the orderly dispatch of the business of the court.

Exclusive jurisdiction of judge

2.1  In the Provincial Court of British Columbia, only a judge may

(a) commit for contempt of court,

(b) hear a matter for which notice under section 8 of the Constitutional Question Act is required,

(c) hear a matter that involves a determination of aboriginal or treaty rights or claims,

(d) hear a matter arising under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for which notice under section 8 of the Constitutional Question Act is not required, and

(e) preside over the trial of a person charged with an offence for which, on conviction, the person is liable to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

Family proceedings open except as provided

3  (1) Subject to this section, proceedings before the court that deal with family or children's matters must be open to the public.

(2) The Attorney General may designate and must publish in the Gazette those matters that for the purposes of this section are deemed to be family or children's matters.

(3) A judge may exclude any person from the courtroom, other than a child before the court, a party to the proceedings or their counsel, if the judge is satisfied that the person's presence

(a) may materially prejudice the best interests of a child,

(b) will substantially prejudice the interests of an adult party to the proceedings, or

(c) will interfere with the administration of justice.

(4) A judge may exclude a child before the court or a party to the proceedings from the courtroom if the judge is satisfied that the person's presence will interfere with the administration of justice.

(5) This section must not be construed to prevent a judge from excluding a prospective witness from the courtroom.

(6) In relation to family or children's matters before the court, a person must not publish at any time anything that would reasonably be likely to disclose to members of the public the identity of the child or party.

(7) Despite subsection (6), a report, comment or analysis concerning a proceeding may be published in a document designed primarily to assist those engaged in the practice of law or in legal or social research.

Supreme Court proceedings in family matters

4  (1) The Attorney General may designate any registry of the court as a registry of the Supreme Court for purposes of subsection (2).

(2) A proceeding in the Supreme Court under the Divorce Act, 1985 (Canada) or the Family Law Act may be filed in a designated registry.

(3) A judge of the Provincial Court has jurisdiction to hear and decide any interlocutory application in a proceeding under the Divorce Act, 1985 (Canada) or the Family Law Act, except as set out in section 193 of that Act, that has been filed in a designated registry under subsection (2).

(4) A person affected by a decision of a judge in an interlocutory proceeding referred to in subsection (3) may appeal to a judge of the Supreme Court.

Family court committee

5  (1) A municipality may have a family court committee appointed by the municipal council in January of each year.

(2) The members of a family court committee must include persons with experience in education, health, probation or welfare.

(3) The members of a family court committee serve without remuneration.

(4) If a court facility in which family matters are dealt with serves more than one municipality or area not in a municipality, the family court committee must be composed of representatives from each area served.

(5) The municipalities involved must appoint one member of the family court committee as chair, and another as vice chair.

(6) The family court committee must do the following:

(a) meet at least 4 times a year to consider and examine the resources of the community for family and children's matters, to assist the court when requested and generally, and to make the recommendations to the court, the Attorney General or others it considers advisable;

(b) assist the officers and judges of the court, if requested, to provide a community resource or assistance in individual cases referred to the committee;

(c) report annually to the municipalities involved and to the Attorney General respecting their activities during the past year.

Appointment and reappointment of judges

6  (1) On the recommendation of the council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council, by Commission under the Great Seal, may

(a) appoint judges of the court as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary, and

(b) if a judge has resigned or retired

(i)   reappoint the judge,

(ii)   appoint the judge to hold office as a senior judge for a term of one year, or

(iii)   reappoint the judge referred to in subparagraph (ii) for additional terms, each term being for one year,

so that he or she can be assigned duties under section 11 (1).

(2) A person must not be appointed under this section as a judge unless he or she has been a member in good standing of the Law Society of British Columbia for at least 5 years or has other legal or judicial experience satisfactory to the council.

(3) The following persons may not be reappointed under subsection (1) (b) (i):

(a) a person who is under 55 years of age or over 75 years of age;

(b) a person who holds or held office as a senior judge.

(4) Before entering on the duties of the office, a judge appointed under any provision of this Act must swear an oath as follows:

I, ......................................., do swear that I will truly and faithfully, according to my skill and knowledge, execute the duties, powers and trusts placed in me as a judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors.

Temporary assignment

7  A justice of the Court of Appeal or a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia may sit as a judge of the Provincial Court and when doing so, is a judge of that court.

Temporary judge

8  The chief judge may appoint a person as a judge of the court for

(a) a period of time set out in the appointment, or

(b) a specific case or class of cases set out in the appointment,

or both, if

(c) the appointee is a provincial court judge, as defined in the Criminal Code, in a province other than British Columbia, and

(d) the chief judge of or the person who holds the equivalent office of the chief judge of the provincial court in the other province consents to the appointment.

Repealed

9  [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

Judges electing to hold office as senior judge

9.1  (1) On or after reaching 55 years of age, a full time judge with at least 10 years' service as a full time judge may elect to hold office part time as a senior judge under this section with judicial duties assigned by the chief judge.

(2) [Repealed 2005-1-8.]

(3) A chief judge, associate chief judge or regional administrative judge may make an election under subsection (1) but may not serve as a senior judge under this section while serving as chief judge, associate chief judge or regional administrative judge.

(4) Unless otherwise approved by the chief judge, a judge who wishes to make an election under subsection (1) must give notice to the chief judge and the Attorney General at least 6 months before the date on which the judge wishes to cease full time service.

(5) The chief judge may specify the form and manner in which notice is to be given under subsection (4).

(6) An election under subsection (1) is irrevocable once the judge begins service as a senior judge under subsection (1) and the senior judge may not resume office as a full time judge or commence service as a senior judge under section 6 (1) (b) (ii) before ceasing to hold office under section 17 (5).

(7) to (10) [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

(11) [Repealed 2008-42-114.]

(12) [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

(13) and (14) [Repealed 2008-42-114.]

Chief, associate and administrative judges

10  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate a judge as chief judge of the court and may designate one or more judges as associate chief judges of the court.

(2) Subject to the direction of the chief judge, an associate chief judge has the same powers and duties as the chief judge.

(3) The chief judge may designate a judge as a regional administrative judge to have, subject to the direction of the chief judge, the powers and duties of the chief judge under section 11 (1) in a judicial administrative region.

(4) A chief judge, associate chief judge or regional administrative judge may not serve as a senior judge under section 6 (1) (b) (ii) or (iii) while serving as chief judge, associate chief judge or regional administrative judge.

(5) The chief judge holds office as chief judge for a term of 7 years or until the chief judge

(a) resigns as chief judge, or

(b) resigns or ceases to hold office as a judge under this Act.

(6) In the case of the incapacity or death of the chief judge or if the office of chief judge is otherwise vacant, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint a judge to act as chief judge until the date on which a new chief judge takes office under this section.

(7) A judge appointed to act as chief judge under subsection (6) has all the powers and must perform all the duties of the chief judge.

Powers and duties of chief judge

11  (1) The chief judge has the power and duty to supervise judges and justices and, without limiting that power and duty, may do one or more of the following:

(a) designate the case or matter, or class of cases or matters, in which a judge or justice is to act;

(b) designate the court facility where a judge or justice is to act;

(c) assign a judge or justice to the duties the chief judge considers advisable;

(d) establish administrative standards and procedures to which judges or justices must conform;

(e) exercise other powers and perform other duties prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the chief judge may

(a) revoke or change any designation or assignment made, or standard or procedure established, under subsection (1), and

(b) monitor and enforce compliance with any designation or assignment made, or standard or procedure established, under subsection (1).

(3) The chief judge may exercise any of the powers set out in this section whether or not a complaint has been received about one or more judges or justices.

Repealed

12–13  [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

Duties of judge

14  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a full time judge must devote himself or herself exclusively to judicial duties and must not engage, directly or indirectly, in any other occupation, profession or business.

(1.1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a senior judge must not engage, directly or indirectly, in any other occupation, profession or business, and must devote himself or herself exclusively to judicial duties for that number of weeks in each year that is arrived at by applying the following formula:

PT annual salary X 1.25 X 52 weeks = number of weeks

FT annual salary

where

(a) PT annual salary is the annual salary of the senior judge, and

(b) FT annual salary is the annual salary of a full time judge.

(2) With the approval of the chief judge, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may assign other duties to a judge in place of some or all of his or her judicial duties in accordance with any conditions contained in the order assigning the judge.

(3) A senior judge must devote himself or herself exclusively to judicial duties for the purposes of subsection (1.1) on the working days, or portions of working days, scheduled by the chief judge.

Repealed

15, 15.1–16  [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

Term of office

17  (1) Subject to this Act, a judge holds office during good behaviour.

(2) A judge may resign by submitting a written resignation to the Attorney General stating the effective date of the resignation and the resignation becomes effective on that date.

(3) A judge, other than a senior judge, ceases to hold office at the end of the month in which the judge reaches 75 years of age.

(4) A senior judge under section 6 (1) (b) (ii) or (iii) ceases to hold office as a judge on the earlier of the following:

(a) the expiration of the one year term of appointment;

(b) the end of the month in which the judge reaches 75 years of age;

(c) the effective date of a resignation submitted under subsection (2) of this section.

(5) A senior judge under section 9.1 (1) ceases to hold office as a judge on the earlier of the following:

(a) the end of the month in which the judge reaches 75 years of age;

(b) 7 years from the date that the judge ceases to serve as a full time judge;

(c) the effective date of a resignation submitted under subsection (2) of this section.

Powers after leaving office

18  A judge or judicial justice who ceases to hold office, other than under section 28 (1) (c), may, during the 12 weeks following the day of ceasing to hold office, give judgment in a proceeding heard while holding office, and the judgment has effect as though the judge or judicial justice still held office.

Repealed

19–19.8  [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

Repealed

20  [Repealed 2002-37-17.]

Judicial council

21  (1) The judicial council of the court is continued.

(2) The members of the council are the following:

(a) the chief judge as presiding member;

(b) the associate chief judge as alternate presiding member or, if 2 or more associate chief judges are designated, the associate chief judge designated as alternate presiding member by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

(c) the president of the Law Society of British Columbia or a person nominated by the president;

(d) the president of the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association or a person nominated by the president;

(d.1) the president of the Provincial Court Judges' Association of British Columbia or a judge nominated by the president;

(e) by appointment of the Lieutenant Governor in Council for a term of not longer than 3 years, not more than 4 other persons.

(3) If the chief judge does not attend a meeting of the judicial council, the alternate presiding member must preside.

(4) If in a proceeding before the council there is no majority decision, the presiding member must cast a second and deciding vote.

(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may authorize payment to council members who are not judges an allowance for their duties on the council in an amount the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate.

Object of council

22  The object of the council is to improve the quality of judicial service, and its functions include the following:

(a) considering proposed Lieutenant Governor in Council appointments of judges and justices;

(b) conducting inquiries respecting judges and justices;

(c) considering proposals for improving the judicial services of the court;

(d) continuing the education of judges and organizing conferences of judges;

(e) preparing and revising, in consultation with the judges, a code of ethics for the judiciary;

(f) reporting to the Attorney General on the matters the Attorney General considers necessary.

Investigations

22.1  (1) Subject to section 25 (2), all complaints respecting a judge or justice must be directed in writing to the chief judge, who, after examining the complaint, must report in writing to the complainant and to the judge or justice.

(2) The chief judge must conduct an investigation respecting the fitness of a judge or justice to perform his or her duties if

(a) the chief judge, whether or not a complaint has been received under subsection (1), considers that an investigation is advisable, or

(b) the chief judge is directed by the Attorney General to conduct an investigation.

(3) After completing an investigation under subsection (2), the chief judge

(a) may do one or both of the following:

(i)   take any corrective action that the chief judge considers necessary using the powers given to the chief judge under this Act;

(ii)   order that an inquiry be held respecting the fitness of the judge or justice to perform his or her duties, and

(b) must, if the investigation was initiated as a result of a complaint under subsection (1) or as a result of a direction of the Attorney General under subsection (2) (b) or if an inquiry is ordered under paragraph (a) (ii) of this subsection, submit to the Attorney General a written report setting out

(i)   the nature of the investigation,

(ii)   the relevant facts,

(iii)   the findings, and

(iv)   any corrective action taken.

(4) If, under subsection (3) (a) (ii), the chief judge orders that an inquiry be held, the chief judge must give written notice together with a copy of the report prepared under subsection (3) (b) to the judge or justice whose fitness is the subject of the inquiry.

Attorney General may order inquiry

23  (1) The Attorney General may order that an inquiry be held respecting the fitness of a judge or justice to perform his or her duties.

(2) If the Attorney General orders an inquiry under subsection (1), the Attorney General must give written notice to the judge or justice together with any report that was made under section 22.1 (3) (b).

If an inquiry is ordered

24  (1) Within 14 days of being notified under section 22.1 (4) or 23 (2) of an inquiry, the judge or justice involved must elect as a tribunal to conduct the inquiry either

(a) the council, or

(b) a judge of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(2) If the judge or justice fails to elect within the period referred to in subsection (1), the inquiry tribunal is the council.

(3) After the tribunal is constituted, the Attorney General must give any legal counsel retained under section 27 (4) a copy of the report made by the chief judge under section 22.1 (3)(b).

(4) If an inquiry is ordered, the judge or justice involved is suspended from all duties with salary unless the chief judge orders that the suspension be without salary.

(5) A chief judge or associate chief judge who has conducted an investigation under section 22.1 (2) must not sit as a member of the council on an inquiry respecting the same matter.

Complaints respecting chief judge

25  (1) Sections 22.1 and 24 do not apply to a complaint or investigation respecting the chief judge.

(2) A complaint respecting the chief judge must be directed to the Attorney General who, after examining the complaint, must report in writing to the complainant and to the chief judge.

(3) If the Attorney General orders an inquiry under section 23 (1) respecting the fitness of the chief judge, the inquiry must be held before a tribunal consisting of a judge of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and sections 26 to 28 apply.

(4) If an inquiry is ordered, the chief judge is suspended from all duties with salary unless the Attorney General orders that the suspension be without salary.

Scope of inquiry

26  In conducting an inquiry, the tribunal may consider all matters relating to a judge or justice that are relevant to the fitness of the judge or justice to perform his or her duties including the following:

(a) mental or physical disability;

(b) misconduct;

(c) failure in the execution of his or her office;

(d) conduct incompatible with the due execution of his or her office.

Inquiry procedure

27  (1) For the purposes of conducting an inquiry under this Act, a tribunal may order a person to do either or both of the following:

(a) attend, in person or by electronic means, before the tribunal to give evidence on oath or affirmation or in any other manner;

(b) produce for the tribunal a record or thing in the person's possession or control.

(1.1) An order under subsection (1) must be in the form of a summons, served on the person by personal delivery or registered mail to the person's last known address.

(2) An inquiry under this Act must be held in public unless the tribunal considers, in the public interest, that the inquiry or any part of it should be held in private.

(3) If an inquiry is to be held, the tribunal must give the judge or justice

(a) reasonable notice of the time and place of the inquiry,

(b) particulars of the matter being inquired into, and

(c) the opportunity, in person or by counsel, to be heard, to cross examine witnesses and to adduce evidence.

(4) For the purposes of an inquiry, the tribunal may retain legal counsel and determine counsel's remuneration, which must be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund without an appropriation other than this section.

(5) If the judge or justice resigns after an investigation has been commenced under section 22.1 (2) or an inquiry has been ordered under section 22.1 (3) (a) (ii) or 23 (1), the investigation or inquiry must be completed unless the Attorney General orders otherwise.

Maintenance of order at hearings

27.1  (1) At an oral hearing, the tribunal may make orders or give directions that the tribunal considers necessary for the maintenance of order at the hearing.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the tribunal, by order, may

(a) impose restrictions on a person's continued participation in or attendance at a hearing, and

(b) exclude a person from further participation in or attendance at a hearing until the tribunal orders otherwise.

Power to enforce summons and punish for contempt

27.2  (1) A tribunal may make an order finding a person to be in contempt, and may impose a fine on or commit the person for contempt, if the person has been served with a summons under section 27 and fails or refuses to do any of the following:

(a) attend before the tribunal;

(b) take an oath or make an affirmation;

(c) answer questions;

(d) produce records or things in the person's possession or control.

(2) The tribunal may make an order finding a person to be in contempt, and may commit the person for contempt, if the person fails or refuses to comply with an order or direction under section 27.1.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not limit the conduct for which a finding of contempt may be made by the tribunal.

(4) The tribunal may call on the assistance of any peace officer to enforce an order made under this section or an order or direction made under section 27.1, and, if called on, the peace officer may take any action that is necessary to enforce the order or direction and may use such force as is reasonably required for that purpose.

Immunity protection

27.3  (1) Subject to subsection (2), no legal proceeding for damages lies or may be commenced or maintained against a tribunal, a member of a tribunal or a person acting on behalf of or under the direction of a tribunal, because of anything done or omitted

(a) in the performance or intended performance of any duty in relation to an inquiry, or

(b) in the exercise or intended exercise of any power in relation to an inquiry.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person referred to in that subsection in relation to anything done or omitted by that person in bad faith.

Powers of the tribunal

28  (1) On the conclusion of an inquiry, the tribunal may order

(a) reinstatement of the judge or justice, with or without a reprimand,

(b) suspension of the judge or justice, with or without salary, for a further period of not longer than 6 months, or

(c) removal of the judge or justice from office.

(2) If a judge or justice is reinstated, and if during the suspension he or she did not receive his or her salary, the tribunal may order that the salary for the suspension period be paid to him or her.

(3) The tribunal must promptly notify the judge or justice involved, the chief judge and the Attorney General in writing of its order and the reasons for the order and must forward a copy of the order and reasons to the registrar of the Supreme Court, Vancouver, for publication.

(4) An order under subsection (1) (c) for the removal of a judge or justice is effective

(a) when an appeal under section 29 is dismissed, or

(b) when the time for an appeal has expired.

Appeal to Court of Appeal

29  Within 30 days after the notice under section 28 (3) was mailed or personally served on him or her a judge or justice may appeal to the Court of Appeal from an order made under section 28 (1), and the Attorney General is respondent in the appeal.

Justice of the peace

30  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint, by Commission under the Great Seal, the justices of the peace the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary.

(2) Before entering on the duties of his or her office, a justice of the peace appointed under subsection (1) must swear on oath as follows:

I, ................................................, do swear that I will truly and faithfully, according to my skill and knowledge, execute the duties, powers and trusts placed in me as a justice of the peace and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors.

(3) Judges of the Provincial Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and judicial justices are justices of the peace.

Repealed

30.1  [Repealed 2008-42-118.]

Judicial justices

30.2  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint, by Commission under the Great Seal, on the recommendation of the council, the judicial justices the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary.

(2) Subject to this Act, a judicial justice holds office during good behaviour.

(3) A judicial justice may be appointed under subsection (1) to serve office on a full time basis or a part time basis for only one fixed term of 10 years.

(4) The chief judge must offer to a part time judicial justice a minimum number of 40 working days in each 12 month period,

(a) for a part time judicial justice who is appointed under subsection (1), commencing on the date of his or her appointment, and

(b) for a part time judicial justice who, under section 30.3 (3), is deemed to be appointed as a judicial justice under subsection (1) on a part time basis, commencing on the date this section comes into force.

(5) Before entering on the duties of his or her office, a judicial justice must swear on oath as follows:

I, …………………………………….….., do swear that I will truly and faithfully, according to my skill and knowledge, execute the duties, powers and trusts placed in me as a judicial justice and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors.

(6) Judges of the Provincial Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are judicial justices.

Deemed judicial justices

30.3  (1) Every justice of the peace who

(a) was designated before June 1, 2007 as a judicial justice under section 30.1 (1) before the repeal of that section,

(b) was not receiving pension benefits provided under the Judicial Compensation Act immediately before this section comes into force, and

(c) has not ceased to hold office

is deemed to be appointed as a judicial justice under section 30.2 (1) on a full time basis, except that section 30.2 (3), with respect to the fixed term, and section 33 (1.1) (a) do not apply to the deemed full time judicial justice.

(2) Every justice of the peace who, immediately before April 11, 2001, held an appointment as a court referee under section 35, as it read immediately before April 11, 2001, and who has not ceased to hold office, is deemed to be a judicial justice appointed under section 30.2 (1) on a full time basis, except that section 30.2 (3), with respect to the fixed term, and section 33 (1.1) (a) do not apply to the deemed full time judicial justice.

(3) Every justice of the peace

(a) who

(i)   was designated before June 1, 2007 as a judicial justice under section 30.1 (1) before the repeal of that section,

(ii)   was receiving pension benefits provided under the Judicial Compensation Act immediately before this section comes into force, and

(iii)   has not ceased to hold office, or

(b) who

(i)   was designated on or after June 1, 2007 as a judicial justice under section 30.1 (1) before the repeal of that section, and

(ii)   has not ceased to hold office,

is deemed to be appointed as a judicial justice under section 30.2 (1) on a part time basis, except that section 30.2 (3), with respect to the fixed term, and section 33 (1.1) (a) do not apply to the deemed part time judicial justice.

Duties of judicial justices

30.4  (1) A full time judicial justice must devote himself or herself exclusively to his or her duties as a full time judicial justice and must not engage, directly or indirectly, in any other occupation, profession or business.

(2) A part time judicial justice must devote himself or herself exclusively to his or her duties as a part time judicial justice on the working days, or portions of working days, scheduled by the chief judge.

Jurisdiction of justice

31  (1) Subject to section 2.1, if a justice is hearing

(a) a case or matter, or

(b) a case or matter within a class of cases or matters

for which the justice is designated to act by the chief judge under section 11 (1), the justice may exercise all the powers and jurisdiction of the court under an enactment respecting the case or matter.

(2) A justice may under the Young Offenders Act (Canada), Young Offenders (British Columbia) Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada), Youth Justice Act, Child, Family and Community Service Act, Family Law Act and Small Claims Act do all necessary acts and deal with all matters preliminary to a hearing and grant adjournments.

(3) If, in the course of a hearing before a justice, the justice cites a person for contempt of court, the justice must issue a summons referred to in section 27 of the Offence Act in respect of the citation as if it were a charge in respect of an offence and refer the citation to a judge for determination.

(4) If, in the course of a hearing before a justice on an information or claim, a matter arises that is, under section 2.1 (b) to (d), within the exclusive jurisdiction of a judge, the justice must terminate the hearing and refer the information, claim or application to be heard as a new trial by a judge.

(5) If a matter is assigned to be heard by a justice, before the commencement of the hearing, a party to the matter may apply to a judge for an order that the matter be heard by a judge.

(6) In making an order under subsection (5), the judge must consider the factors the judge considers relevant including, without limitation, the following factors:

(a) the complexity of the factual and legal issues involved in the matter;

(b) the proposed length of the trial of the matter;

(c) the severity of the potential outcomes or consequences of the matter;

(d) the public interest in the outcome of the matter.

Salary and pension of justice of the peace

32  (1) After consulting with the chief judge, the Attorney General must determine the remuneration to be paid to a justice of the peace.

(2) to (5) [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may order that the Public Sector Pension Plans Act applies to a particular justice of the peace.

(7) [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

Repealed

32.1  [Repealed 2003-59-30.]

Term of office

33  (1) A justice of the peace ceases to hold office as a justice of the peace on the earliest of the following:

(a) the end of the month in which the justice of the peace reaches 75 years of age;

(b) the effective date of a resignation submitted by the justice of the peace under subsection (4).

(1.1) A judicial justice ceases to hold office as a judicial justice on the earliest of the following:

(a) the date that the term of appointment of the judicial justice under section 30.2 (3) expires;

(b) the end of the month in which the judicial justice reaches 75 years of age;

(c) the effective date of a resignation submitted by the judicial justice under subsection (4).

(2) and (3) [Repealed 2008-42-121.]

(4) A justice may resign by submitting a written resignation to the Attorney General stating the effective date of the resignation and the resignation becomes effective on that date.

Conflict of interest

34  (1) A partner or business associate of a justice must not act in a proceeding to be tried or heard before that justice.

(2) A part time judicial justice must not, during his or her term of office,

(a) practise criminal law,

(b) act as legal counsel for or against Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of British Columbia or in right of Canada, or

(c) be in a position of conflict with his or her duties as a part time judicial justice.

Repealed

35–40  [Repealed 2001-20-12.]

Court operation and administration

41  (1) The Attorney General is responsible for the provision, operation and maintenance of court facilities and services.

(2) Subject to the direction of the Attorney General, and to the direction of the chief judge in matters of judicial administration, the chief administrator of court services must direct and supervise facilities, registries and administrative services for the court.

(3) The Attorney General may appoint, under the Public Service Act, persons the Attorney General considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(3.1) The chief administrator of court services, for the purposes of carrying out his or her duties under this Act, may disclose to the chief judge information regarding the conduct of persons appointed under subsection (3) in the performance of their duties under this Act.

(4) The Attorney General may make regulations respecting the operation and maintenance of court facilities and services.

Judicial administrative regions

41.1  On the recommendation of the Attorney General after the Attorney General has consulted with the chief judge, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, for the purposes of section 10 (3), prescribe the number of judicial administrative regions and the area of British Columbia that falls within each judicial administrative region.

Immunities from civil liability

42  Judges and justices have, for things done or not done by them in their official capacity, the same immunities from civil liability as judges of the Supreme Court have for the things done or not done by them in their capacity as judges of the Supreme Court.

Payment to the government by court and municipalities from fines and other penalties

43  (1) In this section, "penalties" include the following:

(a) fees and allowances payable to the court, a judge or a justice under an enactment of British Columbia or of Canada;

(b) fines, penalties and forfeitures imposed by the court, a judge or a justice.

(2) Despite any other Act of British Columbia but subject to any Act of Canada, the court must pay to the Minister of Finance at least once each month all penalties received by it.

(3) Every municipality and regional district must pay to the Minister of Finance all penalties that are required by any law to be paid to the municipality or regional district, other than fines imposed for the contravention of the bylaws of the municipality or regional district.

References in other enactments

44  (1) A reference in another enactment to a magistrate, police magistrate, deputy police magistrate, acting police magistrate or stipendiary magistrate is deemed to be a reference to a judge.

(2) A reference in another enactment to a Magistrates Court or Police Court is deemed to be a reference to the court.