Don’t call judges ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’, lawyers told

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By Legal Cheek on


New guidance promotes ‘modern’ address for certain judicial roles

Lawyers have been told not to address certain judges by ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ as part of a push towards more “modern and simple terminology” in courtrooms.

The guidance issued by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, and Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Keith Lindblom, states that masters, upper tribunal judges and judges of the employment appeal tribunal should be addressed in court or at hearings simply as ‘judge’.

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The current practice is to address them as ‘Sir/Madam’ or ‘judge’.

The Lord Chief Justice said the tweak in terminology embraces a “modern and simple” mode of address “whilst maintaining the necessary degree of respect”. The change also applies to district judges, first-tier tribunal judges and employment judges.

The hope is the change in language will also assist litigants in person involved in court proceedings.

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