1227 Court officers and justices of the peace

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Lead statement

Court officers co-ordinate the administrative and procedural functions of federal, provincial and territorial courts, such as scheduling trials and overseeing the maintenance of court records. Justices of the peace administer oaths, issue subpoenas, summonses and warrants and perform other court-related duties such as conducting bail hearings. They are employed by federal and provincial courts.

Example Titles

  • commissioner of affidavits
  • commissioner of marriages
  • co-ordinator of court services
  • court administrator
  • court clerk supervisor
  • court officer
  • court registrar
  • deputy registrar – courts
  • judicial administrator
  • judicial court administrator
  • judicial officer
  • justice of the peace
  • manager, court services
  • registrar of bankruptcy
  • Supreme Court registrar
  • trial co-ordinator – courts

Main duties

  • Court officers perform some or all of the following duties:
    • Co-ordinate administrative services and establish work priorities for court staff
    • Schedule court trials and arrange pre-trial conferences and hearings
    • Call courts of law to order, read charges and take pleas from defendants
    • Record court commencement, trial proceedings and judgements
    • Collect and record sheriff fees, transcription fees and other court administrative and services fees
    • Oversee the maintenance of judicial court records
    • Assist in preparing annual budgets
    • May be justices of the peace.
  • Justices of the peace perform some or all of the following duties:
    • Issue subpoenas, summonses and warrants, including search warrants
    • Receive affidavits, declarations and affirmations
    • Administer oaths
    • Conduct bail hearings
    • Release defendants on judges' orders and explain rights and obligations
    • Hear evidence at trials on summary conviction offences and may preside over trials of criminal offences at the discretion of the chief judge of the jurisdiction or as provided for in federal, provincial or territorial statutes
    • Perform civil marriages.

Employment requirements

  • Court officers usually require a university degree in law, business or public administration or a college diploma in public administration or legal studies.
  • Completion of a justice registrar, justice of the peace or other court training program is required for court officers and justices of the peace.
  • Several years of experience as a court clerk or in another court service occupation are usually required.
  • Justices of the peace in the provinces are appointed by the lieutenant governor in council and, in the territories, by federally appointed territorial commissioners.

Additional information

  • Progression to senior positions such as senior court administrator is possible through experience.
  • The duties and responsibilities of justices of the peace vary significantly depending on the level of their authority. They may be employed part-time on a fee-for-service basis in small communities. Their duties range from receiving affidavits and similar documents, to presiding in courts and hearing and determining prosecutions under provincial/territorial and federal laws.

Exclusions

  • Administrative officers (12211221)
  • Court clerks (14161416)
  • Paralegal and related occupations (42114211)
  • Sheriffs and bailiffs (44214421)