Lorne MacLean, QC
Member of Judicial Council
Appointed March 8, 2012
As a senior family law lawyer, I had the privilege of spending 5 years on Judicial Council. I was honoured to work with some of the finest legal minds from the judiciary, CBC, Law Society and other professionals. The Council’s passion to ensure we obtained excellence in our proposed provisional judicial candidates was palpable at every meeting I attended.
A judge must be intelligent but must also be compassionate in ensuring justice is done. The Provincial Court is the tip of the spear of justice in BC because it handles the majority of the criminal and family law cases in our province. There is no margin for error when you are dealing with people who are often facing their most daunting life challenges.
In criminal cases, a judge must not lose sight of the fact that the accused is a father, a mother, a son or a daughter. Ensuring justice is done in a manner that protects the public, in due process and upholding the rights of the accused, is critical. A judge must also focus on ensuring that the accused, if found guilty, gets on a path to being a productive member of society. A judge must also be prepared to face the backlash for unpopular decisions and remain confident that he or she has done the right thing.
As a family lawyer, my passion was ensuring judicial candidates understood that family law touches and impacts more Canadians than any other area of law. Family clients in Provincial Court are often self-represented. They are scared and stressed and family judges must help parties resolve matters so they can move forward. People often ask me who the winners in family law cases are and I invariably tell them, “The winners are those family clients who can move forward to a successful post separation life free of bitterness and recrimination.” Even bigger winners are the children of these parents when they are free to focus cooperatively on ensuring their children grow up to be healthy, productive adult members of society.
The candidates we select are ones who have proven themselves through a rigorous screening process to be stellar, resilient and indefatigable.