||This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2007)|
Sir Lyman Poore Duff, PC, GCMG, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (1933–44)
|Names||Judge, justice, magistrate|
|Competencies||Analytical mind, critical thinking, impartiality, commercial sense|
|Education required||Usually experience and University degree|
A judge is an official who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the parties of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.
Symbols of office
A variety of traditions have become associated with the rank or occupation.
In some countries, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations, judges sometimes wear wigs. The long wig often associated with judges is now reserved for ceremonial occasions, although it was part of the standard attire in previous centuries. A short wig resembling but not identical to a barrister's wig would be worn in court. This tradition, however, is being phased out in Britain in non-criminal courts.
American judges frequently wear black robes. American judges have ceremonial gavels, although American judges have court deputies or bailiffs and "contempt of court" power as their main devices to maintain decorum in the courtroom. However, in some Western states, like California, judges did not always wear robes and instead wore everyday clothing. Today, some members of state supreme courts, such as the Maryland Court of Appeals wear distinct dress.
In Italy both judges and lawyers wear particular black robes.
In the People's Republic of China, judges wore regular street clothes until 1984, when they began to wear military-style uniforms, which were intended to demonstrate authority. These uniforms were replaced in 2000 by black robes similar to those worn in the rest of the world.
In Oman, the judge wears a long stripe (red, green white), while the attorneys wear the black gown.
Titles and forms of address
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In the lower courts, magistrates are addressed as 'Sir/Madam', and District Court Judges as 'Your Honour'.
In the superior courts of record, namely the Court of Final Appeal and the High Court (which consists of the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance), judges are addressed as 'My Lord'/'My Lady' and referred to as 'Your Lordship'/'Your Ladyship', following the English tradition.
In writing, the post-nominal letters "PJ" is used to refer to a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal and "NPJ" to a Non-Permanent judge. In the High Court, the abbreviation "JA" is used to denote a Judge of Appeal, and the letter "J" refers to a Judge of the Court of First Instance.
Masters of the High Court are addressed as "Master".
When trials are conducted in Chinese, judges were addressed, in Cantonese, as Fat Goon Dai Yan (法官大人, literally "Judge, Your Lordship") before the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China, and as Fat Goon Gok Ha (法官閣下, "Judge, Your Honour") since 1997. Fat Goon (法官) means "Judge".
In India, judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts are addressed as 'Your Lordship'/'My Lord' and 'Your Ladyship'/'My Lady', a tradition directly attributable to England. However a resolution of the Bar Council of India calls upon lawyers not to address the judges as 'lord' or 'lady', questioning the association with nobility within a constitutional democracy. Lawyers however continue to so address judges – partly out of entrenched habit and partly out of fear of falling in disfavour with them. Subordinate court judges (district, magistrate, munsif and sub-judges) are addressed as 'Your Honour'.
In Israel, judges of all courts are addressed as "Sir/Madam" (אדוני/גבירתי) or "Your Honor" (כבודו/כבודה).
In Japan, judges are addressed simply as "Saibancho" (裁判長, literally "the Chief Justice") or "Saibankan" (裁判官, literally "Judge")
In Malaysia, judges of the subordinate courts are addressed as "Tuan" or "Puan" (Sir or Madam), or Your Honour, while judges of the superior courts are addressed as "Yang Arif" (lit. "Learned One") or My Lord/Lady and Your Lordship/Ladyship if the proceedings, as they generally are in the superior courts, are in English.
In Pakistan, judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts are addressed as 'Your Lordship'/'My Lord' and 'Your Ladyship'/'My Lady', a tradition directly attributable to England. There is some resistance to this on religious grounds but more or less continues till this day. In lower courts, judges are addressed as "sir", "madam" or the Urdu equivalent "Janab".
In Sri Lanka, judges of all courts are addressed as "Your Honour", however the Chief Justice is addressed as "Your Lordship". Judges of the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court receives the title "The Honourable".
In France, the presiding judge of a court are addressed as Monsieur le président/Madame la présidente), whilst associated judges are addressed as Madame, Monsieur l'Assesseur. Out of the court room judges are to be referred to as "Monsieur/Madame le juge".
In Germany as Herr Vorsitzender/Frau Vorsitzende, means Mister/Miss Chairman.
Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court are officially titled "The Honourable Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Justice N", referred to for short as "Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Justice N" and addressed in Court by their respective titles or styles, as "The Court", or simply "Judge". Some barristers continue occasionally to use the traditional mode of style, "My Lord", but this has been discouraged since 2006. In law reports, the Chief Justice of Ireland has the postnominal "CJ", the President of the High Court the postnominal "P", and all other judges "J", e.g. "Smith J".
Judges of the Circuit Court are titled "His/Her Honour Judge N" and are addressed in Court as "Judge". Before 2006, they were addressed as "My Lord". In law reports, "Judge Smith".
Judges of the District Court are titled "Judge N" and addressed in Court as "Judge". Before 1991 these judges were known as District Justices and addressed as "Your Worship".
In Italy the presiding judge of a court is addressed as well to as "Signor presidente della corte".
In the Netherlands, presiding judges of either sex during trial are addressed edelachtbare ("Your Honor") for judges in the Court of First Instance, edelgrootachtbare ("Your Great Honor") for justices in the Court of Appeal and edelhoogachtbare ("Your High Honor") for justices in the High Council of the Netherlands (Supreme Court).
In Poland, presiding judges of either sex during trial are addressed Wysoki Sądzie ("High Judge").
In Russia as "Your Honor" ("Ваша Честь" trans. "Vasha Chest") - for criminal cases only with the one judge presiding. For civil, commercial cases and criminal cases with the panel of judges presiding the right version is "Respected Court".
In Spain, magistrates of the Supreme Court, magistrates and judges are addressed to as "Your Lordship" (Su Señoría); however, in formal occasions, magistrates of the Supreme Court are addressed to as "Your Right Honorable Lordship" (Vuestra Señoría Excelentísima or Excelentísimo Señor/Excelentísima Señora); in those solemn occasions, magistrates of lower Courts are addressed as "Your Honorable Lordship" (Vuestra Señoría Ilustrísima or Ilustrísimo Señor/Ilustrísima Señora); simple judges are always called "Your Lordship".
In Sweden the presiding judge of a court is normally addressed as Herr "Ordförande"/Fru "Ordförande".
England and Wales
In the Courts of England and Wales judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal are addressed (when sitting in those courts) as "My Lord" or "My Lady" and referred to as "Your Lordship" or "Your Ladyship".
When a judge of the High Court who is not present is being referred to they are described as "Mr./Mrs. Justice N." In writing, the post-nominal letter "J" is used to denote a Judge (male or female) of the High Court: for example, Smith J.
Judges of the Court of Appeal, also called Lords Justice of Appeal, are referred to as "Lord Justice N" or "Lady Justice N." In writing, Lords Justices of Appeal are afforded the post nominal letters "LJ:" for example, Smith LJ.
Circuit Judges and Recorders are addressed as "Your Honour". Circuit judges are referred to as "His/Her Honour Judge N." In writing, this title may be abbreviated as "HHJ" or "HH Judge," e.g. "HH Judge Smith." district judges and tribunal judges are addressed as "Sir/Madam".
In the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, judges are called Justices of the Supreme Court. Those Justices of the Supreme Court who do not hold life peerages are now given the courtesy style "Lord" or "Lady." Justices of the Supreme Court are addressed as "My Lord/Lady" in court. In the law reports, the Justices of the Supreme Court are usually referred to as "Lord/Lady N", although the Weekly Law Reports appends the post-nominal letters "JSC" (e.g. "Lady Smith JSC"), and the President and Deputy President of the Court are afforded the post-nominal letters PSC and DPSC respectively.
In the Courts of Scotland judges in the Court of Session, High Court of Justiciary and Sheriff Courts are all addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lady" and referred to as "Your Lordship" or "Your Ladyship".
The judicial system of Northern Ireland is very similar to that of England and Wales, and superior court judges are addressed the same way as those in England and Wales. However there are a few differences at the lower levels.
In Northern Ireland, the equivalent to a Circuit Judge is a County Court Judge, and they are addressed and titled the same way as a Circuit Judge is in England and Wales. The senior County Court Judges assigned to the County Court Divisions of Belfast and Derry have the titles of Recorder of Belfast and Recorder of Londonderry respectively, but are addressed the same as other County Court Judges. A district judge sitting in the County Court is addressed as "Your Honour".
A District Judge (Magistrates' Court) is addressed as "Your Worship". A Lay Magistrate, in cases where they are present, is also addressed as "Your Worship", and may use the post nominals "LM", e.g. "John Smith LM".l
In general, Canadian judges are addressed directly as "Your Honour" or "Justice" and are formally referred to in the third person as "The Honourable Mr. (or Madam) Justice 'Forename Surname'". Less formally, judges of a Superior Court are referred to as "Justice 'Surname'", and it is never appropriate to refer to such a judge as "Judge 'Surname.'" When referred to in a decision of a court, judges' titles are often abbreviated to the suffix "J.", so that Justice Smith will be referred to as Smith J. Judges in some superior courts are addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lady".
Generally, it is only appropriate to use the term "judge" when speaking of an anonymous or general position, such as "the trial judge," or when referring to a member of an inferior or provincial court such as the Ontario Court of Justice.
In many states throughout the United States, a judge is addressed as "Your Honor" or "Judge" when presiding over the court. "Judge" may be more commonly used by attorneys and staff, while either may be common with the plaintiff or defendant. Notably, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the largest unified trial court in the United States, has a rule that the judge shall be addressed only as "Your Honor," and never as "Judge," "Judge (name)," "ma'am," or "sir."
The justices of the supreme courts usually hold higher offices than the justice of the peace, a judge who holds police court in some jurisdictions and who typically tries small claims and misdemeanors. However, the state of New York inverts the usual order, with the Supreme Court of the State of New York being the lowest trial court of general jurisdiction, and the Court of Appeals being the highest court. This is a historical artifact from when the superior trial court in common law jurisdictions was called the "supreme court" (which still exists in some jurisdictions, such as Australia).
Consequently, New York trial judges are called "justices," while the judges on the Court of Appeals are "judges." New York judges who deal with guardianships, trusts and estates are uniquely known as "surrogates."
Subordinate or inferior jurisdiction judges in U.S. legal practice are sometimes called magistrates, although in the federal court of the United States, they are called magistrate judges. Subordinate judges in U.S. legal practice who are appointed on a case-by-case basis, particularly in cases where a great deal of detailed and tedious evidence must be reviewed, are often called "masters" or "special masters" and have authority in a particular case often determined on a case by case basis.
Judges of courts of specialized jurisdiction (such as bankruptcy courts or juvenile courts) were sometimes known officially as "referees," but the use of this title is in decline. Judges sitting in courts of equity in common law systems (such as judges in the equity courts of Delaware) are called "Chancellors."
Individuals with judicial responsibilities who report to an executive branch official, rather than being a part of the judiciary, are often called "administrative law judges" in U.S. practice. They were previously known as hearing examiners. They commonly make initial determinations regarding matters such as workers' compensation, eligibility for government benefits, regulatory matters, and immigration determinations.
Judges who derive their authority from a contractual agreement of the parties to a dispute, rather than a governmental body are called arbitrators. They typically do not receive the honorific forms of address nor do they bear the symbolic trappings of a publicly appointed judge. However, it is now common for many retired judges to serve as arbitrators, and they will often write their names as if they were still judges, with the parenthetical "(Ret.)" for "Retired."
Unlike many civil law countries which have some courts on which panels of judges with nearly equal status composed of both legally trained professional judges and lay judges who lack legal training and are not career judges, the United States legal system (like most Anglo-American legal systems) makes a clear distinction between professional judges and laymen involved in deciding case who are jurors who are part of a jury. Most, but not all U.S. judges have professional credentials as lawyers. Non-lawyer judges in the United States are often elected, and are typically either justices of the peace or part-time judges in rural limited jurisdiction courts. A non-lawyer judge typically has the same rights and responsibilities as a lawyer who is a judge holding the same office and is addressed in the same manner.
In Australia judges, and since 2007, magistrates, of all jurisdictions including the High Court of Australia are now addressed as "Your Honour". In legal contexts, they are referred to as "His/Her Honour" for short, or in full, either "His/Her Honour Justice Surname" or (the older style) "His/Her Honour Mister/Madam Justice Forename Surname". Outside legal contexts, the formal terms of address are "Judge" (for puisne justices) or "Chief Justice" (for chief justices).
The title for most puisne judges is "Justice", which is abbreviated in law reports to a postnominal "J", in the form "Surname J". Chief Justices of the High Court and of state Supreme Courts are titled "Chief Justice", which is abbreviated in law reports to a postnomial "CJ". Judges in the New South Wales Court of Appeal are referred to as Justices of the Appeal (abbreviated "Surname JA"), while the President of the Court of Appeal is referred to as "President", abbreviated to a postnomial "P".
In New Zealand, judges of the High Court and above are referred to as "His/Her Honour Justice Surname" in speech, and "Surname J" in writing. Judges of the District Court and the other statutory courts are referred to as "His/Her Honour Judge Surname" in speech, and "Surname DCJ" or "Judge Surname" in writing. The "Mr" of the title "Mr Justice" was dropped on the appointment of Cartwright J to the High Court. In Court, all judges are addressed as "Your Honour", or "Sir/Madam".
In Brazil, judges are simply called "Juiz" or "Juiza" (male and female forms of "judge") and traditionally addressed to as "Vossa Excelência" (lit. "Your Excellency", translated as "Your Honor") or "Meritíssimo" (lit. "Honorable", but it is used as a pronoun also translated as "Your Honor"). Judges that are part of a pannel in a State Court, or Federal Court are called "desembargadores". Judges sitting in the higher courts (Supremo Tribunal Federal, Superior Tribunal de Justiça, Tribunal Superior do Trabalho and Tribunal Superior Eleitoral) are called "ministro" or "ministra" (male and female forms of "minister") and also referred to as "Vossa Excelência".
At the International Court of Justice, judges may be addressed by the titles they received in their countries of origin.
Judges of the International Criminal Court are referred to as "judge."
The Biblical Book of Judges revolves around a succession of leaders who were known as "Judges" (Hebrew shoftim שופטים) but who - aside from their judicial function - were also tribal war leaders, leading in war against threatening enemies. The same word is, however, used in contemporary Israel to denote judges whose function and authority is similar to that in other modern countries.
- Hosted.ap.org[dead link]
- Корнажер, П. - "Съдебна реторика. Избрани съдебни речи", ИК Софи-Р, С., 2000, с. 77
- "Criminal Procedure Code of Russia, Article 257. Regulations of the court session". Consultant.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "Civil Procedure Code of Russia, Article 158. Procedure of the court session". Consultant.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "Arbitral Procedure Code of Russia, Article 154. Procedure of the court session". Consultant.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "Albertacourts.ab.ca". Albertacourts.ab.ca. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Rule 8.5, Los Angeles Superior Court Rules.
- New South Wales Supreme Court, Addressing Judicial Officers
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M.E.D.E.L European association of judges and public prosecutors.
- CEPEJ European commission for the efficiency of justice.
- CCJE European consultative council of judges.
- How sentencing works: You be the Judge
- Directgov Crown Court - what it does (Directgov, England and Wales)