Supreme Court of British Columbia

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Supreme Court of British Columbia
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Coat of Arms
LocationCariboo; Kootenay; Nanaimo; Prince Rupert; Vancouver; Victoria; Westminster; and Yale
Authorized bySupreme Court Act, 1996
No. of positions102
WebsiteSupreme Court
Chief Justice
CurrentlyChristopher E. Hinkson
SinceNovember, 2013

The Supreme Court of British Columbia (BCSC) is the superior trial court for the province of British Columbia, Canada. The BCSC hears civil and criminal law cases as well as appeals from the Provincial Court of British Columbia. There are 90 judicial positions on the BCSC bench in addition to supernumary judges, making for a grant total of 108 judges.[1] There are also 13 Supreme Court masters who hear and dispose of a wide variety of applications in chambers.[2]

The court was established in 1869 as the "Supreme Court of the Mainland of British Columbia" to distinguish it from the "Supreme Court of Vancouver Island". The two courts merged in 1870 under the present name.[3]

Jurisdiction[edit]

The BCSC is a court of record, having original jurisdiction in all cases, civil and criminal, arising in British Columbia. The BCSC has inherent jurisdiction under the Constitution of Canada in addition to any jurisdiction granted to it by federal or provincial statute.

The BCSC has jurisdiction in any civil dispute, including those matters where the dollar amount involved is within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims division of the Provincial Court. Under the Criminal Code, the BCSC is included as a "superior court of criminal jurisdiction", meaning that it has exclusive jurisdiction for the trial of serious crimes within British Columbia.

The BCSC also hears appeals from the Provincial Court and some administrative tribunals. Appeals from its own judgments are heard by the Court of Appeal of British Columbia.

The BCSC is also responsible for call ceremonies for admitting lawyers and notaries public where the respective oath of office is administered by a justice.[4][5]

Justices and masters[edit]

All justices of the BCSC (including the position of Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice) are appointed by the federal cabinet, on recommendation of the Minister of Justice. All BCSC justices have full jurisdiction over any matter before the BCSC.

It is court protocol to refer to BCSC judges as "justices", and in court to address to justices as “my Lord” or “my Lady," unlike in the Provincial Court (and the now-abolished County Court) where the term “judge” is used and the mode of address is (and was) "your Honour."

Masters are appointed by the provincial cabinet, on recommendation of the Attorney General in consultation with the Chief Justice. As provincial appointees, masters do not have inherent jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction is limited to those matters granted to them by statute and the Rules of Court. Masters preside in chambers, where they usually hear interlocutory applications and other pre-trial matters. Masters cannot hear civil trials and do not preside in criminal matters. In court, Masters were formerly addressed as "Master," but in a practice direction issued on September 6, 1991, then Chief Justice Esson advised the most appropriate form of address would be "your Honour". Masters also sit and hear matters as registrars, hearing such matters as assessments of solicitors fees and accounts.

Judicial districts[edit]

The British Columbia Supreme Court sits in eight judicial districts called "counties". This is the only usage of "county" in British Columbia, which is a reference only to such court districts and has no similarity to the meaning in other provinces of Canada, the United States or United Kingdom. Prior to 1990, there existed in British Columbia a County Court, an intermediate court between the Provincial Court and the BCSC. In 1990, the County Court of B.C. merged with the BCSC and its judges became justices of the BCSC. The judicial districts of the Supreme Court have the same boundaries of the counties of the former County Court.[6]

The judicial districts are: Cariboo; Kootenay; Nanaimo; Prince Rupert; Vancouver; Victoria; Westminster; and Yale. The Counties of Vancouver and Westminster are collectively one judicial district under the name of the "Vancouver Westminster Judicial District".[7] Within each county, or judicial district, justices are resident in the following locations:

The BCSC also holds sittings in the following court locations for which there is not a resident justice:[6]

Current Justices[edit]

Name[8] District Appointed Nominated By Prior Position(s)
Associate Chief Justice Heather J. Holmes Vancouver March 21, 2001 (Judge)
June 22, 2018 (ACJ)
Chretien (Judge)
Trudeau (ACJ)
Justice Patrice Abrioux Vancouver 30 September 2011 Harper Quinlan Abrioux law firm
Justice Elaine J. Adair Vancouver 28 November 2008 Harper McCarthy Tétrault LLP (1982 to 2008)
Justice Kenneth N. Affleck Vancouver 24 June 2011 Harper Affleck Hira Burgoyne LLP
Macaulay McColl
Justice Trevor C. Armstrong New Westminster 1 October 2010 Harper Private Practice
Justice Robin A. M. Baird Nanaimo October 5, 2012 Harper Provincial Court Judge (2011 to 2012)

Crown Prosecutor (1990 to 1995, 2004 to 2011)
Green & Claus LLP

Justice Wendy Baker Vancouver February 22, 2018 Trudeau Partner, Miller Thomson LLP
Justice Kenneth W. Ball New Westminster November 2, 2012 Harper
Justice Bill Basran Vancouver January 19, 2018 Trudeau Regional Director General of the Department of Justice (2007 to 2018)
Justice Lance W. Bernard New Westminster July 24, 2003 Chretien
Justice D. Allan Betton Kelowna June 24, 2011 Harper Provincial Court Judge (2007 to 2011)
Justice Murray B. Blok New Westminster October 28, 2010 Harper
Justice Gregory T.W. Bowden Vancouver October 2, 2009 Harper Provincial Court Judge (2004 to 2009)
Justice Ward K. Branch Vancouver June 8, 2017 Trudeau Branch MacMaster LLP
Justice Brenda Brown New Westminster April 18, 2002 Chretien
Justice Neill Brown Chilliwack July 30, 2008 Harper
Justice Michael J. Brundrett Vancouver June 21, 2017 Trudeau British Columbia Ministry of Justice, Criminal Justice Branch
Justice Emily M. Burke Vancouver May 13, 2014 Harper
Justice Grace Choi Vancouver May 29, 2015 Harper Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP
Justice Marguerite H. Church Prince George June 17, 2016 Trudeau Provincial Court Judge
Justice Thomas Crabtree Chilliwack May 4, 2018 Trudeau Chief Judge, Provincial Court of B.C.
Justice E. David Crossin Vancouver September 29, 2017 Trudeau Sugden, McFee & Roos LLP
Justice D. Jane Dardi Vancouver June 18, 2008 Harper
Justice Martha M. Devlin New Westminster December 12, 2014 Harper
Justice Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten Vancouver October 20, 2016 Trudeau Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Justice S. Dev Dley Kamloops March 19, 2010 Harper Provincial Court (2008 to 2010)
Justice Sheri Ann Donegan Kamloops June 6, 2013 Harper Provincial Court (2010 to 2012)
Crown Attorney (1998 to 2010)
Mair Jensen Blair (1992 to 1998)
Justice Jennifer M.I. Duncan Vancouver December 19, 2013 Harper
Justice Shelley C. Fitzpatrick Vancouver June 18, 2010 Harper
Justice Margot L. Fleming Vancouver June 6, 2013 Harper Somers & Company (1996 to 2013)
Justice Carla L. Forth Vancouver June 14, 2017 Trudeau Guild Yule LLP
Justice Gordon S. Funt Vancouver October 5, 2012 Harper Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (1984 to 2012)
Justice Geoffrey R. J. Gaul Victoria January 31, 2008 Harper
Justice Christopher Giaschi Vancouver August 31, 2018 Trudeau
Justice Geoffrey Gomery Vancouver June 15, 2018 Trudeau
Justice J. Christopher Grauer Vancouver April 11, 2008 Harper
Justice J. Miriam Gropper Vancouver April 14, 2005 Martin
Justice Joel R. Groves Vancouver May 19, 2005 Martin Master, Supreme Court of British Columbia
Justice John S. Harvey New Westminster January 22, 2009 Harper
Justice Karen Horsman Vancouver August 31, 2018 Trudeau Legal Services Branch, B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General
Justice Nitya Iyer Vancouver June 14, 2017 Trudeau
Justice Veronica Jackson Vancouver October 9, 2018 Trudeau Legal Services Branch, B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General
Justice Robert W. Jenkins New Westminster December 31, 2011 Harper
Justice Nigel P. Kent Vancouver December 19, 2013 Harper
Justice Kathleen M. Ker New Westminster June 18, 2008 Harper
Justice Diane MacDonald Vancouver February 7, 2018 Trudeau Counsel for B.C. Teachers’ Federation
Victory Square Law Office
Justice George Macintosh Vancouver December 19, 2013 Harper
Justice Brian D. MacKenzie Victoria October 23, 2009 Harper
Justice Heather MacNaughton Vancouver October 20, 2016 Trudeau Master of Supreme Court
Justice Miriam A. Maisonville Vancouver March 19, 2010 Harper
Justice Leonard Marchand Kamloops June 21, 2017 Trudeau Provincial Court Judge
Fulton & Company LLP
Justice Francesca V. Marzari Vancouver December 19, 2017 Trudeau Young Anderson Barristers and Solicitors
Justice David M. Masuhara Vancouver October 11, 2002 Chretien
Justice Sharon Matthews Vancouver February 22, 2018 Trudeau Partner, Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman
Justice Andrew P. A. Mayer Vancouver April 12, 2017 Trudeau General Counsel with the Prince Rupert Port Authority
Justice T. Mark McEwan Nelson August 7, 1996 Chretien
Justice Warren B. Milman Vancouver June 14, 2017 Trudeau McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Justice Maria Morellato Vancouver June 17, 2016 Trudeau
Justice Catherine Murray Vancouver October 20, 2016 Trudeau BC Crown Attorney Office
Justice Elliott M. Myers Vancouver November 22, 2005 Martin
Justice Barbara J. Norell New Westminster February 22, 2018 Trudeau
Justice Jennifer A. Power Victoria August 6, 2010 Harper
Justice Robert D. Punnett Victoria June 19, 2009 Harper
Justice W. Paul Riley New Westminster May 11, 2017 Trudeau General Counsel with Public Prosecution Service of Canada (1997 to 2017)
Justice Anthony Saunders New Westminster November 26, 2009 Harper
Justice Terence A. Schultes Vancouver May 14, 2009 Harper
Justice Robert J. Sewell Vancouver January 22, 2009 Harper
Justice Neena Sharma Vancouver December 19, 2013 Harper
Justice Arne H. Silverman Vancouver November 26, 2004 Martin sole practitioner
Justice Ronald A. Skolrood Vancouver June 6, 2013 Harper Lawson Lundell LLP (1987 to 2013)
Justice Harry A. Slade Vancouver March 27, 2001 Chretien
Justice Nathan H. Smith Vancouver May 19, 2005 Martin
Justice John J. Steeves Victoria October 5, 2012 Harper Sole Practitioner (2003 to 2012)
Steeves & Company (1989 to 2000)
McGrady & Company (1986 to 1989)
Justice Paul W. Walker Vancouver June 18, 2008 Harper
Justice Peter G. Voith Vancouver January 22, 2009 Harper
Justice Ronald S. Tindale Prince George October 20, 2011 Harper
Justice Douglas W. Thompson Nanaimo December 13, 2012 Harper
Justice Frits E. Verhoeven New Westminster January 22, 2009 Harper
Justice Jeanne E. Watchuk Vancouver October 28, 2010 Harper
Justice Gordon C. Weatherill Vancouver May 31, 2012 Harper
Justice Lisa A. Warren Vancouver June 6, 2013 Harper Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy (1993 to 2007)
Director of Legal Services, Health Employers Association of BC (2007 to 2013)
Justice Gary P. Weatherill Kelowna October 2, 2013 Harper
Justice Barbara M. Young Victoria June 19, 2015 Harper
Justice Michael Tammen Vancouver June 14, 2017 Trudeau Peck and Tammen
Justice Steven Wilson Kelowna October 19, 2018 Trudeau Master, Supreme Court of British Columbia
Justice Janet Winteringham Vancouver August 15, 2017 Trudeau Winteringham MacKay Law Corporation
Justice Palbinder Kaur Shergill New Westminster June 21, 2017 Trudeau Shergill & Company

Supernumerary

Name[8] District Appointed Nominated By Prior Position(s)
Justice Ian C. Meiklem Kamloops October 11, 1991 Mulroney
Justice Alison J. Beames Kelowna August 7, 1996 Chretien
Justice Grant D. Burnyeat Vancouver December 19, 1996 Chretien
Justice Barry M. Davies Vancouver January 10, 1996 Chretien
Justice William Ehrcke Vancouver October 28, 2003 Chretien
Justice Robert Johnston Victoria November 26, 2004 Martin Cox Taylor
Justice Carol J. Ross Vancouver March 21, 2001 Chretien
Justice Loryl Russell Vancouver April 14, 2005 Martin
Justice Catherine A. Wedge Vancouver April 4, 2001 Chretien
Justice William Grist Chilliwack June 20, 1996 Chretien
Justice Mary Humphries Vancouver January 27, 1994 Chretien
Justice Laura Gerow Vancouver October 10, 2002 Chretien
Justice Janice Dillon Vancouver April 25, 1995 Chretien
Justice R. Crawford New Westminster September 27, 2001 Chretien
Justice Stephen F. Kelleher Vancouver July 24, 2003 Chretien

Chief Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

Prior to 1909, when the British Columbia Court of Appeal was established, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was considered the Chief Justice of British Columbia.

Name[8] Duration
Christopher E. Hinkson 2013–present
Robert James Bauman 2009–2013
Donald Ian Brenner 2000–2009
Bryan Williams 1996–2000
William A. Esson 1989–1996
Beverley McLachlin 1988–1989
Allan McEachern (afterwards Chief Justice of BC Court of Appeal, 1988) 1979–1988
Nathaniel Nemetz (afterwards Chief Justice of BC Court of Appeal, 1979) 1973–1979
John Owen Wilson 1963–1973
Sherwood Lett (afterwards Chief Justice of BC Court of Appeal, 1963) 1955–1963
Wendell Burpee Farris (died 1955) 1942–1955
Aulay MacAulay Morrison 1929–1942
Gordon Hunter 1902–1929
Angus John McColl 1898–1902
Theodore Davie 1895–1898
Matthew Baillie Begbie (incumbent Chief Justice of the Colony of British Columbia at the time B.C. joined Canada) 1869–1894

Associate Chief Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

Name[8] Duration
Heather J. Holmes 2018–present
Austin F. Cullen 2011–2017
Anne W. MacKenzie 2010–2011
Patrick D. Dohm 1995–2010

Previous Justices[edit]

Name[8] Duration Nominated By Prior Position(s)
Justice Marion J. Allan 1990 - 2012
Justice K. F. Arkell 1990 - 1999
Justice Elizabeth A. Arnold-Bailey 2005 - 2017
Justice Wendy G. Baker 1993 - 2016
Justice Sandra K. Ballance 2002 - 2016
Justice G. M. Barrow 2001 - 2015
Justice Robert J. Bauman 1996 - 2008
Justice Elizabeth A. Bennett 1997 - 2009
Justice T. Richard M.L. Blair 1992 - 2013
Justice John C. Bouck 1974 - 2006
Justice Mary-Ellen Boyd 1990 - 2012
Justice Harry D. Boyle 1982 - 2001
Justice Thomas R. Braidwood 1990 - 1996
Justice Donald I. Brenner 1992 - 2009
Justice David J. Brine 2004 - 2009 McQuarrie Hunter
Justice T. Richard Brooke 2000 - 2011
Justice Catherine J. Bruce 2006 - 2016
Justice H.A. Callaghan 1978 - 2001
Justice D.H. Campbell 1990 - 1996
Justice Michael I. Catliff 1975 - 2003
Justice Eric G. Chamberlist 1998 - 2010
Justice D.L. Clancy 1991 - 2002
Justice Bruce I. Cohen 1987 - 2015
Justice R. Collver 1990 - 2001
Justice R.M. Cooper 1990 - 1996
Justice Gerald R. B. Coultas 1988 - 2003
Justice J. C. Cowan 1988 - 2000
Justice Austin F. Cullen 2001 - 2011
Justice Victor R. Curtis 1990 - 2012
Justice W.H. Davies 1982 - 1999
Justice M. DeWeerdt 1996 - 1997
Justice Risa Evelyn Levine 1995 - ?
Justice Gail Dickson 2006 - 2015
Justice Patrick D. Dohm 1972 - 1995
Justice Jacqueline Dorgan 1991 - 2017
Justice K. K. Downs 1995 - 2002
Justice N.A. Drossos 1990 - 2001
Justice Ian L. Drost 1990 - 2005
Justice E. Robert A. Edwards 1993 - 2007
Justice J.L.T. Edwards 1994 - 2000
Justice R.T. Errico 1990 - 1999
Justice William A. Esson 1979 - 1983
Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon 2008 - 2015
Justice Barbara Fisher 2004 - 2017 Blake, Cassels & Graydon
Justice T.K. Fisher 1990 - 1999
Justice Gregory Fitch 2011 - 2015 Stephen Harper Crown attorney (1985 to 2011)
Justice S. David Frankel 2007 - 2007
Justice G. Peter Fraser 1989 - 2007
Justice Nicole J. Garson 2001 - 2009
Justice Kirsti M. Gill 1991 - 2009
Justice Richard B.T. Goepel 2001 - 2013
Justice Victoria Gray 2001 - 2017
Justice Bruce M. Greyell 2009 - 2017 Counsel with Roper Greyell
Justice Susan Griffin 2008 - 2018
Justice Harvey M. Groberman 2001 - 2008
Justice D.A. Halfyard 1999 - 2014 Jean Chretien
Justice H.J. Hamilton 1990 - 1997
Justice S. J. Hardinge 1990 - 2000
Justice David C. Harris 2010 to 2012 Stephen Harper
Justice Wendy J. Harris 2013 - 2017 Harris & Company (1992 to 2013)
Justice R. Bruce Harvey 1989 - 2004
Justice Alexander G. Henderson 1995 - 2003
Justice Christopher E. Hinkson 2007 - 2010
Justice Ronald R. Holmes 1989 - 2009
Justice Sherman W. Hood 1989 - 2007
Justice D.A. Hogarth 1990 - 1996
Justice R. B. Hunter 1992 - 2002
Justice Robert B. M. Hutchison 1990 - 2004
Justice R.M. J. Hutchinson 1990 - 2002
Justice Hope Hyslop 2009 - 2017
Justice Ian B. Josephson 1990 - 2017
Justice Brian M. Joyce 2001 - 2016
Justice Pamela A. Kirkpatrick 1992 - 2005
Justice Deborah Kloegman 1996 - 2014
Justice M. Marvyn Koenigsberg 1992 - 2017
Justice George Lamperson 1982 - 2006
Justice C. Ross Lander 1982 - 2007
Justice Peter D. Leask 2005 - 2017
Justice S.M. Leggatt 1990 - 2000
Justice Peter D. Lowry 1991 - 2003
Justice Kenneth M. Lysyk 1983 - 2003
Justice Malcolm D. Macaulay 1997 - 2015
Justice B. D. Macdonald 1982 - 1999
Justice Anne W. MacKenzie 1996 - 2010
Justice Frank Maczko 1988 - 2008
Justice Donna J. Martinson 1998 - 2009
Justice Ronald A McKinnon 1990 - 2015
Justice Thomas Melnick 1990 - 2015
Justice Frederick A. Melvin 1990 - 2006
Justice Robert W. Metzger 2000 - 2013
Justice P.J. Millward 1990 - 1999
Justice Nancy Morrison 1996 - 2011
Justice K.C. Murphy 1990 - 1997
Justice Kathryn E. Neilson 1999 - 2008
Justice H.A.D. Oliver 1990 - 1996
Justice Wallace T. Oppal 1985 - 2003
Justice Dermod D. Owen-Flood 1987 - 2006
Justice Raymond M.P. Paris 1980 - 2005
Justice W. Glen Parrett 1990 - 2015
Justice Paul J. Pearlman 2008 - 2018 Stephen Harper
Justice Ian H. Pitfield 1997 - 2010
Justice Robert E. Powers 1999 - 2013
Justice Bruce M. Preston 1987 - 2010
Justice Robert A. Prior 2010 - 2010
Justice Georgina M. Quijano 1995 - 2005
Justice Bryan F. Ralph 1997 - 2007
Justice Eric Rice 2003 - 2011
Justice R. Robinson 1990 - 1997
Justice Peter J. Rogers 2001 - 2017
Justice Selwyn R. Romilly 1995 - 2015
Justice John F. Rowan 1988 - 2001
Justice John E.D. Savage [9] 2008 - 2014
Justice W. B. Scarth 1990 - 2009
Justice W.S. Selbie 1990 - 1996
Justice S. James Shabbits 1992 - 2011
Justice Duncan W. Shaw 1987 - 2007
Justice Jon S. Sigurdson 1994 - 2017
Justice Janet A. Sinclair Prowse 1990 - 2009
Justice Thimersingh M. Singh 1990 - 2008
Justice H.L. Skipp 1989 - 2001
Justice William B. Smart 2006 - 2013
Justice C. Lynn Smith 1998 - 2012
Justice Daphne M. Smith 1996 - 2008
Justice J.E. Spencer 1981 - 1999
Justice Allan M. Stewart 1988 - 2011
Justice Sunni S. Stromberg-Stein 1996 - 2013
Justice James D. Taylor 1995 - 2006
Justice John D. Truscott 2002 - 2017
Justice M. L. Tyrwhitt-Drake 1990 - 1997
Justice David F. Tysoe 1992 - 2007
Justice David H. Vickers 1991 - 2009
Justice Terrance P. Warren 1991 - 2009
Justice C. Warren Wilkinson 1989 - 2001
Justice Peter M. Willcock 2009 - 2013
Justice Paul Williamson 1994 - 2013
Justice Alexander Fraser Wilson 1994 - 2009
Justice R. Dean Wilson 1994 - 2011
Justice Randall S.K. Wong 1990 - 2016

References[edit]

  1. ^ NUMBER OF FEDERALLY APPOINTED JUDGES AS OF JULY 1, 2018, www.fja.gc.ca
  2. ^ "BC Supreme Court "About us"". Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  3. ^ The Laws of British Columbia: Consisting of the Acts, Ordinances. p. 112.
  4. ^ Call and Admission to the Bar
  5. ^ Information on Becoming aBC Notary Public
  6. ^ a b "Supreme Court - Court Locations and Contacts". The Courts of British Columbia. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  7. ^ British Columbia Supreme Court Act.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Supreme Court - Members of the Supreme Court". www.courts.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  9. ^ "BRITISH COLUMBIA JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED".

External links[edit]