1227- Court officers and justices of the peace
Court officers and justices of the peace
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
National Occupation Classification, (2011)
Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada,
Catalogue no. 12-583-X