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

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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

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Judicial Justice of the Peace: They are judicial officers of the court who hear traffic and By-law matters as well as applications for search warrants and for bail.

Judge: The “finder of fact” in a court case.  S/he decides what happened as per the evidence presented, and decides how the law applies to the facts.  S/he will then render a judgment.

Judge Alone Trial: The accused, charged with an indictable offence, has elected to be tried in Supreme Court by a judge without a jury.

Judge and Jury Trial: The accused, charged with an indictable offence, has elected to be tried in Supreme Court by a Judge and jury.

Judgment: A decision arrived at and pronounced by a court of law.

Judicial Independence: A judge has a responsibility to listen to both sides of a case and then to make an impartial, fair decision based on the evidence and the law.  They have the freedom to make that judicial decision without interference or influence from any source.  This is called judicial independence.

Judicial Interim Release: A bail hearing for an accused in custody on new charges. The accused is to be released pending trial unless the Crown can "show cause" to detain. In some cases (i.e. murder) the burden is on the accused to "show cause" why release on bail should be granted. See Bail Hearing.

Jurisdiction: This refers to the power to hear and determine a case and also to the geographic area over which the Court has legal authority.

Jury: In criminal cases, juries are composed of twelve men and women who will listen to the evidence, follow the Judge's instructions regarding how to apply the law, make findings of fact and decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.

Jury Selection: The process by which Crown and defence choose a jury from a panel of eligible jurors.

Justice of the Peace: An officer of the court who has some of the powers of a Judge.

Jury: A group of people, usually twelve people, chosen to give a verdict on a legal case that is presented before them in a court of law.  Civil juries have eight members.

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