A Kelowna lawyer is one of the seven new provincial court judges appointed this week.
Judge Cathaline Heinrichs will start her new position Jan. 3, 2017, filling a gap left by a retirement and boosting the resources of the judiciary.
Heinrichs received a bachelor of laws from the University of British Columbia in 1992 and was called to the bar in 1994.
During her career she has focused on family law. As a sole practitioner since 2000, Heinrichs has worked in adoption, child protection, advocacy for special needs children and family, and separation and divorce in both provincial and supreme courts.
A resident of Kelowna, she has been active as a volunteer in local organizations.
Government and the public rely on judges for their integrity and impartiality and trust they will deliver fair, learned decisions. These qualities are essential for maintaining the public’s confidence in the courts and are a vital component of any democratic justice system.
British Columbia’s judicial system is recognized as one of the best in the world because of the diversity, experience and knowledge of its judges. The chief judge determines the locations to which judges are assigned in order to meet the needs of the court.
These seven judicial appointments will replace judges who have either retired or moved to senior court appointments.
The process to appoint judges involves several steps:
Interested lawyers apply and the B.C. Judicial Council, a committee made up of the chief judge, other judges, lawyers and lay people, reviews the candidates.
The committee recommends potential judges to the attorney general, with the final appointment made through a cabinet order-in-council.
Although judges are located in a judicial region, many travel regularly throughout the province to meet changing demands.
The remaining appointees are as follows:
Judge Cassandra Malfair – Jan. 9, 2017
Judge Susan Mengering – Jan. 9, 2017
Judge Brian Hutcheson – Jan. 16, 2017
Judge Peter LaPrairie – Jan. 16, 2017
Judge Lynal Doerksen – Jan. 30, 2017
Judge Patricia Stark – Jan. 30, 2017