The Provincial Court of Alberta has 132 full-time equivalent Judges (some full time and some part time) as well as a number of Supernumerary Judges who serve when required. Judges in Edmonton and Calgary belong to specific divisions: Criminal, Family and Youth or Civil, but all Judges are qualified to hear cases in all areas of the law. There are 71 locations across the Province where Provincial Court Judges hear matters. In smaller locations, the Court sits only on specific days of the week. Some Judges regularly sit in a particular city or town and other Judges travel between locations, but all Provincial Court Judges are able to sit at any location in Alberta.
Provincial Court Judges hear civil, adult and youth criminal, and family law disputes. They also conduct judicial dispute resolution meetings (a type of mediation), hold pre-trial conferences, preside over ceremonies and spend time preparing for court and working on oral or written decisions. Outside of Court duties, Judges contribute to many public interest activities such as committees and boards, school tours of the courthouses or presentations at educational events.
The Chief Judge is the administrative head of the Court, and he is assisted by the Deputy Chief Judge and nine Assistant Chief Judges.
To be a Provincial Court Judge, you need to be a lawyer with at least 10 years of experience. Provincial Court Judges are appointed by the Alberta Minister of Justice from a list of approved candidates.
The Judges of the Provincial Court of Alberta are committed to professional development and have many opportunities to advance their education and keep up to date with developments in law and in society. While Judges are individually responsible for their own education, the Court has Education Plans in place to guide the Judges and support them in their professional development.
The Court has a process to hear complaints about Judges from lawyers or the public.
Further information on Judges of the Provincial Court is available in the Provincial Court Act, RSA 2000, c P-31