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Vancouver Downtown Community Court judge retires

Judge James Bahen worked in the legal profession for 38 years.
Vancouver Downtown Community Court.

A judge who’s been a mainstay in Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court has retired after 38 years in the legal profession.

Judge James Bahen received his education in Calgary and Toronto.  

He worked as a lawyer specializing in criminal law from 1985 to 2010, receiving an appointment as Queen’s Counsel in January 2009. While working as a lawyer, Bahen was a member of the Legal Aid Committee of the B.C. Bar Association.  

Bahen was also an adjunct faculty member for UBC’s criminal law clinic and was a volunteer instructor in the trial advocacy program.

Bahen was appointed to the B.C. Provincial Court in January 2011, sitting in Vancouver and Richmond.

Downtown Community Court was the first of its kind in Canada, bringing everyone together under one roof. Judges in the court have worked with not only lawyers and accused but also with health and social services, community organizations, area residents, merchants, faith communities, non-profit organizations and schools to create relationships.

“The community court tests new ways to reduce crime and improve public safety,” a provincial government website said. “It deals with offenders more quickly through a coordinated and informed response, benefiting not only offenders but victims and the wider community as well.”

Bahen retired effective July 1, a court notice said.