• December 6, 2023
 New guidance tells lawyers not to call judges “sir” or “madam”

New guidance tells lawyers not to call judges “sir” or “madam”

Judges are no longer going to be referred to as Sir or Madam in an effort to use more “modern and simple terminology” in courtrooms.

The directive has come from the senior judiciary who now state that judges should simply be referred to as “Judge”. This will apply to masters, Upper Tribunal judges, employment and Employment Appeal Tribunal judges, district judges, masters, and First-Tier Tribunal judges.

In a joint statement from Lord chief justice Lord Burnett of Maldon and senior president of tribunals Sir Keith Lindblom, the decision was explained:

“The move away from ‘sir or madam’ involves modern and simple terminology, reflecting the important judicial role while maintaining the necessary degree of respect.

We also hope this change in language will assist litigants in person involved in court and tribunal proceedings.”

It was also stated that judicial titles will not be affected and non-legal members will still be addressed as “Sir”, “Madam”, or “Ma’am”.

Joseph Mullane

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