Judgments, also called reasons for judgment or reasons, are the explanation that the court gives at the conclusion of a hearing, explaining why an order is being made. By contrast, an order is the formal expression of the ruling of the court.
Reasons for Judgment
Reasons for judgment may be delivered immediately after the hearing ends, but this is not common. Most often, the judge or master will reserve judgment which means that the judge will take some time – days, weeks, or even months – to consider the matter before issuing the judgment. When a judgment is reserved, it is usually written though it may be delivered orally. Reserved judgments, once released are posted on this website and made available to legal publishers, unless subject to publication restrictions.
Oral Reasons for Judgment
Oral reasons for judgment which may be given at the conclusion of the hearing or at a later date are recorded but are not automatically transcribed. A transcript may be ordered, for a fee, by submitting a written request to the registry from which the judgment was delivered. The request should be directed to the In-Court Technologies department at the relevant registry. The request must state the action number, the full style of cause, the date of judgment and the name of the judge or master. The transcript will be prepared by an authorized transcription company and submitted to the court for review by the judge or master who heard the matter. The final version will be signed by the judge or master and placed in the court file. A copy of the approved transcript will be provided to the person who requested the transcript.
Original in the Court File
The original signed judgment, whether written or a transcribed oral judgment, is kept in a registry file. The judgment in the registry file is the official version of the reasons for judgment. In the event that there is a question about the content of a judgment, the original in the court file will prevail.
Copies of the original judgment can be obtained by contacting the court registry shown at the top of the judgment. A photocopying charge is payable.
Publication of Reasons for Judgment
Judgments are generally available from this website 24 hours after they are released to the parties (or their counsel). This website contains decisions of the Supreme Court of British Columbia since 1990. With the exception of a small number of oral judgments that have been circulated, this database does not include oral judgments.
Many of the reasons for judgment on this website were converted to a text format so all formatting, other than basic layout, has been removed Typographical errors will be corrected as they are identified.