Forms of address for the Judiciary

There are certain protocols that are followed when addressing members of the judiciary. The following page sets out some information about these, taken from the Crown Office guidance document on forms of address. The full Forms of Address document can be downloaded from the Ministry of Justice website.

The Heads of Division and Court of Appeal

The Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the President of the Family Division, President of the Queens Bench and the Chancellor of the High Court are all members of the Privy Council and they are addressed by their judicial titles prefixed by "The Right Honourable". 

For example:

Address
(in Correspondence)
Dear... In court
The Right Honourable
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Lord Chief Justice/Chief Justice

 

My Lord


or


My Lady

The Right Honourable
The Master of the Rolls
Master of the Rolls
The Right Honourable
The President of the Queen's Bench Division
President
The Right Honourable
The President of the Family Division
President
The Right Honourable
The Chancellor of the High Court
Chancellor
Retired Head of Division Title in Private Capacity N/A

Court of Appeal Judge

Judges who sit in the Court of Appeal (Lords Justices of Appeal) are Privy Councillors. They are known officially as Lord Justices. They should be addressed as follows:

Address
(in Correspondence)
Dear... In court
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Smith Lord Justice My Lord
The Right Honourable Lady Justice Smith DBE Lady Justice My Lady

High Court Judges

Members of the High Court are not usually Privy Councillors.
Their official designation is as follows:

Office/Position Address
(in correspondence)
Dear... In court
High Court judge
The Honourable Mr Justice Smith
Judge
My Lord

High Court judge
The Honourable Mrs Justice Smith (whether married or single)
Judge

My Lady

High Court Masters & Registrars

Office/Position Address
(in correspondence)
Dear... In court
Master Master Smith
(whether male or female)
Master Master
Registrar Mr (or Mrs) Registrar Smith Registrar Registrar

Circuit judges

Some Circuit Judges – for example, The Recorder of Liverpool or Central Criminal Court judges – are referred to as "My Lord" or "My Lady".

Address
(in correspondence)
Dear... In court
His Honour Judge Smith (QC if appropriate) Judge Your Honour
Her Honour Judge Smith (QC if appropriate) Judge Your Honour

District Judges

Address
(in correspondence)
Dear... In court
District Judge Smith Judge Sir or Madam

District Judge (Magistrates Courts)

Address
(in correspondence)
Dear... In court
District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) Smith Judge Sir or Madam

Magistrates

Dear... In court
John Smith Esq. JP Your Worship, or
Sir or Madam

Tribunal chairmen

Dear... In court
Normal Titles in their private capacities, or where a holder of more senior office, according to that title. Sir or Madam

Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Judges

Address
(in correspondence)
Dear... In court
Immigration Judge Smith Judge Sir or Madam