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Get To Know BC Court

In British Columbia, there are two trial courts and one appeal court. The trial courts are the Provincial Court of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

After listening to witnesses give evidence, judges or juries make decisions based on the evidence. At the request of counsel, the Court of Appeal of British Columbia may agree to review decisions from these trial courts. All the courts in Canada are independent of politics. Judges have the responsibility to make impartial and fair decisions according to the law. This is called judicial independence.

Provincial Court of British Columbia

The Provincial Court hears over 90% of all criminal matters, and all criminal trials of young people ages 12 to 17 (except murder). This court also hears civil (small claims), traffic and municipal bylaw matters. There are many Provincial Courts throughout British Columbia.

Supreme Court of British Columbia

The Supreme Court hears civil and criminal jury and non-jury trials. This court sits in seven geographical areas, known as judicial districts, across British Columbia.

Court of Appeal of British Columbia

The Court of Appeal is the highest level of court in the province and is not a trial court. Three to five judges, sitting together, hear appeals on lower court decisions. There are Courts of Appeal in Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna, Prince George and Whitehorse as needed.

Learn more about the courthouse, the courtroom and who will be in court by clicking on the Table of Contents links, above.

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