Changes in courtroom and tribunal address procedures have been announced by the Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals.
In a message published on 1 December, Lord Burnett of Maldon and Sir Keith Lindblom said that from now on, the Judges listed below should be addressed in court or tribunal hearings as ‘Judge’:
- Upper Tribunal Judges
- Judges of the Employment Appeal Tribunal
- District Judges
- District Judges (Magistrates Courts)
- First-Tier Tribunal Judges
- Employment Judges
The current practice is to address them as ‘Sir/Madam’ or ‘Judge’.
The Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals said: “The move away from ‘Sir or Madam’ involves modern and simple terminology, reflecting the important judicial role whilst maintaining the necessary degree of respect.”
They added: “We also hope this change in language will assist litigants in person involved in court and tribunal proceedings.”
The change will only involve the way in which Judges are addressed in court or tribunals. “It does not affect judicial titles, which have a basis in statute, or the way in which Judges record their decisions”, the message clarifies.
It is noted that in the tribunals non-legal members should continue to be addressed as ‘Sir or Madam’.