B.C. appoints four new Provincial Court judges

The flag of British Columbia. Photo: Canva/HR Law Canada

The Government of British Columbia has announced the appointment of four new judges to the Provincial Court.

Set to take their positions in early March 2024, these appointments are part of the province’s efforts to ensure timely access to justice for its citizens, it said in a press release.

Christopher Churchill will join the bench on March 21, 2024, bringing a wealth of experience from his extensive career as a criminal defence lawyer. Since transitioning to sole practice in 1997, Churchill has dedicated himself to defending clients in both Provincial and Supreme Courts, emphasizing the importance of fair representation and justice.

Karen Leung, whose appointment is effective March 4, 2024, transitions from her role as legal counsel within the Provincial Court, a position she has held since September 2013. Leung’s work, particularly during the pandemic, has been crucial in drafting practice directives and public notices that have kept the court accessible. Her experience working with various judicial and legal entities has prepared her for the complexities of the bench.

Also starting on March 4, 2024, are Colleen Elden and Sheryl Wagner, each bringing unique perspectives and expertise to their roles. Elden has a background in criminal law, having served as defence counsel, complainant’s counsel in sexual abuse prosecutions, and ad-hoc Crown counsel. Her experience as amicus curiae, assisting in complex criminal matters, highlights her commitment to comprehensive legal representation.

Wagner, coming from a background as a mediator in Australia, transitioned into a significant role as Crown counsel in British Columbia in 2005. Her work in the Special Prosecutions Unit, dealing with challenging prosecutions and occupying senior roles in litigation teams, equips her with the experience needed for the demands of the Provincial Court.

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