British judges no longer to be called ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ in ‘modernisation’ plan

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British judges will no longer be called “sir” or “madam” in a bid to keep up with “modern terminology”, the Lord Chief Justice has announced. 

Lord Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and Sir Keith Lindblom, senior president of tribunals, have announced changes concerning modes of address in courts and tribunals. 

Currently, the practice is to address judges as “sir” or “madam” or “judge”. However, the changes mean that they should now only be addressed as “judge” to reflect more modern terminology. 

In a joint statement they 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. 

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

They added: “This change only involves 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 changes will affect judges in categories including masters, upper tribunal judges, judges of the employment appeal tribunal, district judges, district judges in magistrates courts, first-tier tribunal judges, and employment judges.

In the tribunals, non-legal members will continue to be addressed as “sir or madam”.

Read more via The Telegraph

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