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What do you call a Judge...?

No it’s not the first line of a joke.

On 1 December 2022, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon and the Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Keith Lindblom announced in a message changes regarding the way that certain judges should be addressed in court. 

“From 1 December 2022, the following judges 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

This replaces the previous practice of addressing those judges as "Sir/Madam". The announcement indicates that the move away from "Sir" or "Madam" is an attempt to modernise and simplify the terminology, reflecting the important judicial role whilst maintaining the necessary degree of respect. It is also hoped that the 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 Judiciary webpage, What do I call a Judge? 

This change only involves the way in which judges are addressed in court or tribunals including the family courts. 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".”

Please contact Joanna Gardner or Denise McCabe for specialist help and advice in all aspects of family law at  or 

Added: 23 Jan 2023 10:17

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