The British Columbia government is appointing seven new provincial court judges to address upcoming retirements to ensure the judiciary has the resources to continue to provide access to justice. The appointments and effective dates are:
- Judge Cathaline Heinrichs – Jan. 3, 2017
- Judge Cassandra Malfair – Jan. 9, 2017
- Judge Susan Mengering – Jan. 9, 2017
- Judge Brian Hutcheson – Jan. 16, 2017
- Judge Peter LaPrairie – Jan. 16, 2017
- Judge Lynal Doerksen – Jan. 30, 2017
- Judge Patricia Stark – Jan. 30, 2017
Government and the public rely on judges for their integrity and impartiality and trust they will deliver fair, learned decisions. These qualities are essential for maintaining the public’s confidence in the courts and are a vital component of any democratic justice system.
British Columbia’s judicial system is recognized as one of the best in the world because of the diversity, experience and knowledge of its judges. The chief judge determines the locations to which judges are assigned in order to meet the needs of the court.
- These seven judicial appointments will replace judges who have either retired or moved to senior court appointments.
- The process to appoint judges involves several steps:
- Interested lawyers apply and the B.C. Judicial Council, a committee made up of the chief judge, other judges, lawyers and lay people, reviews the candidates.
- The committee recommends potential judges to the attorney general, with the final appointment made through a cabinet order-in-council.
- Although judges are located in a judicial region, many travel regularly throughout the province to meet changing demands.
Information about the judicial appointment process: www.provincialcourt.bc.ca
A backgrounder follows.