The Government of British Columbia is appointing three new Provincial Court judges to support the judiciary with the resources required to continue providing access to justice.
The appointment of new judges will increase the capacity of the Provincial Court and help to address a backlog of cases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three new judges being appointed are:
- Martin Nadon, effective April 6, 2021;
- Jodie Harris, effective April 12, 2021; and
- Michelle Stanford, effective April 12, 2021.
Jodie Harris has dedicated 15 years to public service as a prosecutor in the Provincial Court and Supreme Court of British Columbia. Harris started her career in corporate and commercial litigation as an articled student and associate at Blake Cassels and Graydon, LLP in Vancouver. Four years later, her focus changed to criminal litigation in her role as Crown counsel with the BC Prosecution Service. When she was not practising law, she engaged in community outreach, educating law students and police agencies in various capacities, and guest lecturing.
After six years in acute care and as a head nurse, Michelle Stanford shifted to a career in law, attending law school and articling at a firm specializing in personal injury law. A brief court appearance at 222 Main St. in her articling year convinced her to become a criminal lawyer. She has been a lawyer for 27 years and has developed a varied practice in Kamloops that includes administrative and criminal law, as well as work as a special prosecutor. Stanford was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2018 and was the first Black and female bencher in Kamloops and Yale County.
Martin Nadon has practised law for almost 30 years. He began his legal career at a firm in Nanaimo where he worked in all practice areas with an emphasis on family and civil litigation. Five years later, he opened his own practice in Kelowna specializing in criminal law. Since 2001, he has been Crown counsel for the Ministry of Attorney General, having conducted a range of trials in Provincial Court and Supreme Court. Having worked with people from all walks of life, Nadon attributes much of his success to understanding the lives of the people who go before the courts.
- British Columbia’s judicial system is recognized for the diversity, experience and knowledge of its judges.
- These factors help facilitate the court’s ability to resolve disputes between various parties in all divisions of the court, communicate its decisions effectively to the public, uphold the constitution and protect the rule of law.
- Judges and justices must devote themselves exclusively to their judicial duties. No judge may hold any other paid position or engage in any business enterprise.
- The process to appoint judges involves the following steps:
- Interested lawyers apply, and the Judicial Council of B.C. reviews the candidates.
- The council is a statutory body made up of the chief judge, an associate chief judge, other judges, lawyers and members from outside the legal profession.
- The council 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.
For information about the judicial appointment process, visit: www.provincialcourt.bc.ca
For information about the Ministry of Attorney General's response to COVID-19: