How To Address Judges

The BC Court of Appeal and BC Supreme Court have decided to eliminate the practice of addressing justices as “my lady”, “my lord”, “your ladyship” or “your lordship”.

The Court made this known in the revised Court of Appeal Practice Directive and the new Supreme Court Practice Direction, Form of Address obtained by BarristerNG.

The new directive states that Counsel who are pregnant or have a disability or other reason affecting the ability to fully gown may appear in alternate gowning attire as appropriate to their circumstances.

Also Justices of the Court of Appeal are to be referred to as “Chief Justice”, “Justice”, “Madam Justice”, “Mr. Justice” or, collectively, as “Justices”, according to the context. Counsel and parties are urged to avoid addressing justices as “my lady”, “my lord”, “your ladyship” or “your lordship”. In a Registrar’s hearing, the Registrar is to be addressed as “your honour”.

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A justice is to be addressed as “Chief Justice”, “Associate Chief Justice”, “Justice”, “Madam Justice”, or “Mr. Justice” as the context requires.

The use of the terms “My Lord”, “My Lady”, “Your Lordship”, and “Your Ladyship” is to be avoided.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia is the province’s superior trial court. The Supreme Court is a court of general and inherent jurisdiction which means that it can hear any type of case, civil or criminal. It hears most appeals from the Provincial Court in civil and criminal cases and appeals from arbitrations. A party may appeal a decision of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal.

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