Introduction
Introduction

We recommend that you watch the introductory video first. It will provide you with an overview of the British Columbia court system, and this website.

To learn more about British Columbia's trial and appeal courts, select an option from the menu above.

Glossary

line

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

line

Chambers Application: Pre-trial matter heard before a judge or master of the court.

Charge: The particular criminal offence alleged to have been committed by an accused which is contained on a sworn Information. The person remains charged with the offence until either conviction or acquittal or until the charges are stayed by Crown Counsel.

Charge Approval: The Crown Counsel's decision on whether or not to lay charges.

Chief Justice: The head judge of all the courts in BC.  Usually, it is a Court of Appeal judge.

Civil Law: Laws that deal with the rights of private citizens.  Civil cases deal with unresolved conflicts or disputes between individual or groups.

Claim: A demand for something somebody has a right to or owns.

Conflict: A disagreement between two parties.

Contempt of Court: The crime of deliberately failing to obey or respect the authority of a court of law or legislative body.

Contested Wills: A challenge or disagreement about the terms of a will.

Contract: A formal or legally binding agreement.

Conviction: Registered when a person, charged with an offence, enters a guilty plea or is found guilty following a trial, and that person is not discharged.

Counsel: The lawyers involved in the court proceedings.

Court of Appeal for British Columbia: Hears appeals of indictable offences from trial courts. Also hears appeals from decisions of Supreme Court on summary conviction appeals. This is not a trial court.

Court Clerk: The assistant to the judge who swears in witnesses and supervises the exhibits during the trial.

Court Order: A legally binding decision made by a court of law.

Court Registry: Place where the pleadings and documents for a court case are filed.

Criminal Law: Law which sets out crimes or acts which the government has decided are illegal.

Crown Counsel: Lawyers who represent the Crown (or the state) in criminal prosecutions. They are employees of the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Attorney General. They ensure that charges are laid in cases and that prosecutions are conducted fairly and expeditiously.

Custody: The legal right and responsibility for raising a child and personally supervising the child’s upbringing, including the person’s right to keep the child in his or her home.

line