4111 Judges

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Lead statement

Judges adjudicate civil and criminal cases and administer justice in courts of law. Judges preside over federal and provincial courts.

Example Titles

  • chief justice
  • county court judge
  • Court of Queen's Bench justice
  • district court judge
  • family court judge
  • federal trial court justice
  • provincial court of appeal justice
  • small claims court judge
  • superior court justice
  • Supreme Court justice

Main duties

Judges perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Preside over courts of law, interpret and enforce rules of procedure and make rulings regarding the admissibility of evidence
  • Instruct the jury on laws that are applicable to the case
  • Weigh and consider evidence in non-jury trials and decide legal guilt or innocence or degree of liability of the accused or defendant
  • Pass sentence on persons convicted in criminal cases and determine damages or other appropriate remedy in civil cases
  • Grant divorces and divide assets between spouses
  • Determine custody of children between contesting parents and other guardians
  • Enforce court orders for access or support
  • Supervise other judges and court officers.
  • Judges may specialize in particular areas of law such as civil, criminal or family law.

    Employment requirements

    • Extensive experience as a lawyer or as a professor of law with continuous membership in the bar association is usually required.
    • Membership in good standing with a provincial or territorial law society or bar association is required.
    • Judges are appointed by federal or provincial cabinets.
    • Those appointed to more senior positions in a court, such as chief justice, usually have experience as judges in that court.