The Government of British Columbia is appointing three new Provincial Court judges and one new judicial justice to support continued access to justice.
The three new judges to be appointed are:
- Kasandra Cronin, QC, effective July 26, 2022;
- David Ruse, effective July 27, 2022; and
- Tamara Hodge, effective July 25, 2022.
The new judicial justice to be appointed is Aamna Afsar, effective July 26, 2022.
Kasandra Cronin, QC:
Kasandra Cronin, QC, holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1998, and was called to the B.C. bar in 1999. She has worked as criminal defence counsel in Vancouver and elsewhere in the province, as well as ad hoc Crown counsel. She is a well-known mentor and supporter of young women entering the legal profession.
David Ruse graduated from the University of Victoria in 1990. He has worked as Crown counsel for his entire professional career, first on the Lower Mainland and then in Kelowna since 1996. He has a deep range of prosecution experience, laterally prosecuting major crime matters, including high-profile and complex murders.
Tamara Hodge graduated from the University of Victoria in 2001. She identifies as Black. She has been Crown counsel for all her working career, prosecuting virtually every type of Criminal Code offence, including murder charges. She has served in Colwood Crown counsel offices and served as an administrative Crown counsel in Victoria.
Aamna Afasar graduated from McGill University in 2003. She identifies as South Asian. She was originally called to the bar in Alberta and practised there briefly, but has primarily practised law in British Columbia, first as Crown counsel with the BC Prosecution Service in Vancouver, where she practised for 13 years. Since 2019, she has worked with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) as an adjudicator. She has managed the equality centre at the IRB and worked as a co-ordinator for a gender-related task force.
The Province is committed to promoting fair access to justice for all residents of B.C. These appointment decisions consider multiple factors, including the needs of the court, the diversity of the bench and the candidates’ areas of expertise.
- 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.
- The process for appointing judicial justices is similar:
- The Judicial Council of B.C. screens candidates for judicial justice appointments.
- The council reviews applications and decides whether ot not the applicant will be interviewed.
- From those interviewed, the council approves candidates as qualified for recommendation to the lieutenant governor in council.
- Although judicial officers may be assigned to 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