Message from the Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals – Modes of address in courts and tribunals

Cross JurisdictionalLord Burnett of MaldonLord Chief JusticeSenior President of TribunalsSir Keith LindblomNews

We are today announcing a change in the practice of how certain Judges are addressed in court. From now on, the Judges listed below should be addressed in court or tribunal hearings as ‘Judge’:

  • Masters
  • 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 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. Up to date guidance on what to call a Judge can be found on the What do I call a Judge? webpage. Any other relevant guidance will be changed as appropriate in due course.

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. 

In the tribunals non-legal members should continue to be addressed as ‘Sir or Madam’.

Lord Burnett of Maldon
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

Sir Keith Lindblom
Senior President of Tribunals