The Government of British Columbia is appointing three new provincial court judges to support continued access to justice.
The three new judges being appointed are:
- Ellen (Heidi) Hughes, effective March 14, 2022;
- Michelle Peacock, effective March 7, 2022; and
- Susan Sangha, effective March 7, 2022.
Ellen (Heidi) Hughes:
Hughes worked with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Legal Services Branch, as counsel for many years. Hughes holds a law degree from the University of Virginia, graduating in 1990. She was called to the Massachusetts State Bar in 1990 and the B.C. bar in 1996. Hughes has worked in all levels of court with expertise in administrative law, contracts, constitutional law and employment and human rights.
Peacock holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1993. She worked as a sole practitioner and a legal aid staff lawyer until October 1996 when she became Crown counsel in the Vancouver region. Peacock is bilingual and has been a member of the BC Prosecution Services’ French prosecution group since 1996. She was a member of the Stanley Cup Riot prosecution team in 2011, which was awarded the Commitment to Justice award by the Canadian Heads of Prosecution Committee.
Sangha holds a law degree from the University of Victoria, graduating in 1996 before being called to the B.C. bar in 1997. She was a civil litigator and partner at Alexander Holburn where she has worked since finishing law school. Her practice area was insurance defence work, focusing on personal injury, occupier’s liability and product liability, as well as and employment and human rights.
These appointment decisions consider multiple factors, including the needs of the court, the diversity of the bench and the candidates’ areas of expertise.
The process to appoint judges involves the following steps:
- Interested lawyers apply and the Judicial Council of B.C. reviews the candidates. The council is a statutory body made up of the chief judge, an associate chief judge, other judges, lawyers and members from outside the legal profession.
- The council recommends potential judges to the attorney general, with the final appointment made through a cabinet order-in-council.
Although judicial officers may be assigned to a judicial region, many travel regularly throughout the province to meet changing demands.