Provincial Court

Staff of the Provincial Court

Currently, aside from the 22 judges in the Provincial Court, there is a staff of approximately 70 support personnel located in various centres throughout the province where the court regularly holds sittings. In judicial matters those staff are under the direction of judges but in all non-judicial matters they come under the authority and direction of the Director of Court Services who is located in St. John's.

By virtue of section 26 of the Provincial Court Act, 1991, the staff of the court are civil servants and employees of the Department of Justice.

Of course, judges themselves are not civil servants. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and, indeed, the Canadian Constitution generally, recognize the Judiciary as a third branch of government, equal to (but not subordinate to) the Legislative and Executive branches as contemplated by the British Parliamentary system of government from which our Canadian and Newfoundland systems are derived and upon which they are modelled. For that reason, while judges can properly be said to be officers of the state, and hence public servants, they must be independent and impartial so as to properly carry out their mandated duties as arbiters of societal rights and freedoms. Under our judicial system judges would be in an untenable position of conflict if they were to be held accountable to another branch of government.

St. John's is the administrative headquarters of the Provinicial Court system. The 10 centres are administered by the Provincial Manager of Court Services, who reports to the Director of Court Services. Each local branch court is supervised by a Court Administrator, reporting to the Provincial Manager of Court Services. Corner Brook and St. John's also have Court Managers, who supervise their respective Court Administrators and report to the Provincial Manager of Court Services.