The Chief Justice of New Brunswick determines the general policy of the Court of Appeal and the Court of King’s Bench in judicial matters. He exercises this responsibility in addition to his adjudicative and administrative duties. By statute, the Chief Justice of New Brunswick is sworn or affirmed into office by the Lieutenant-Governor, administers the oath or affirmation of office to the Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench and to the other justices of the Court of Appeal, and has rank and precedence over all other judges of the courts of the Province. The Chief Justice is a member of the Canadian Judicial Council. As well, he or she acts as Administrator of the Province and signs Orders-in-Council in the Lieutenant-Governor’s absence.
The Honourable J.C. Marc Richard, Chief Justice of New Brunswick, is a judge of the Court of Appeal and exercises the adjudicative duties attached to that office as part of a team that comprises five other regular judges: Kathleen A. Quigg, Bradley V. Green, Raymond T. French, Charles A. LeBlond and Denise A. LeBlanc as well as three supernumerary judges, J. Ernest Drapeau, Lucie A. LaVigne and Barbara L. Baird. The Chief Justice is charged with the responsibility of administering the Court of Appeal, a responsibility that includes chairing the meetings of the Court, as well as coordinating and apportioning the work of the judges of the Court of Appeal.
Traditionally, the Chief Justice is consulted by government before any decision is taken that might significantly affect the administration of justice in the Province.
The Chief Justice of New Brunswick is called upon to serve in several other ways, including: (1) chairing the committee invested with the responsibility of considering applications for appointment to the Provincial Court of New Brunswick; (2) chairing the committee responsible for the selection of King’s Counsel; (3) chairing the Statutory Rules Committee, which may inquire into and examine the administration and functioning of the Courts, the Judicature Act and the Rules of Court, the working of and arrangements governing the performance of duties by the officers of the Courts and the procedure of the Courts; (4) presiding over Bar Admission and King’s Counsel ceremonies; and (5) chairing the committee tasked with recommending Order of New Brunswick recipients.