Judicial titles in England and Wales

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The Judiciary of England and Wales contains many levels, based on the court in which the judge sits. Titles are given to judges relating to their position and, in the case of knighthoods and peerages, this includes the positions they had previously held. Retired judges that sit in any court use their full name with their titles added (such as Sir or Dame, or post-nominal QC).

Due to the various honours bestowed on members of the judiciary and traditions associated with the varying levels, their personal titles and forms of address often change as they progress in a judicial career.

Extant titles[edit]

Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council[edit]

Office Judicial title Abbreviated title (in Law Reports, etc.) Form of address in court Form of address out of court Private title Private form of address
President of the Supreme Court[1] The Right Hon. the President of the Supreme Court Lord Jones P[2] My Lord Lord Jones Lord Jones Lord Jones
Deputy President of the Supreme Court[1] The Right Hon. the Deputy President of the Supreme Court Lord Jones DP[2] My Lord Lord Jones Lord Jones Lord Jones
Male Justice of the Supreme Court[1] The Right Hon. Lord Jones Lord Jones JSC[2] My Lord Lord Jones Lord Jones Lord Jones
Female Justice of the Supreme Court[1] The Right Hon. Lady Smith Lady Smith JSC[2] My Lady Lady Smith Lady Smith Lady Smith

If there are two Justices of the Supreme Court with the same surname, then the junior Justice will take a territorial designation (i.e. "of [place]") in their title. When two or more Justices are referred at the same time in a law report, their post-nominal letters become SCJJ.[3]

Court of Appeal[edit]

Office Judicial title Abbreviated title (in Law Reports, etc.) Form of address in court Form of address out of court Private title Private form of address
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (if a peer) The Right Hon. the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Jones CJ My Lord Lord Chief Justice Lord Jones (when title does not include a territorial designation)/The Lord Jones of Luton (when title includes a territorial designation) Lord Jones
Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England (Master of the Rolls) (if a peer) The Right Hon. the Master of the Rolls Lord Jones MR[3] My Lord Master of the Rolls Lord Jones (when title does not include a territorial designation)/The Lord Jones of Luton (when title includes a territorial designation) Lord Jones
Master of the Rolls The Right Hon. the Master of the Rolls Sir John Smith MR[3] My Lord Master of the Rolls Sir John Smith Sir John
Male Lord Justice of Appeal The Right Hon. Lord Justice Smith Smith LJ[2] My Lord Judge Sir John Smith Sir John
Female Lord Justice of Appeal The Right Hon. Lady Justice Smith Smith LJ[2] My Lady Judge Dame Jane Smith Dame Jane

If there are two Lord Justices of the Appeal with the same surname, then the junior Lord Justice will take their first name as part of their judicial title.[2] When two or more Lord Justices are referred at the same time in a law report, their post-nominal letters become LJJ.[3]

High Court[edit]

Office Judicial title Abbreviated title (in Law Reports, etc.) Form of address in court Form of address out of court Private title Private form of address
Male President of the Queen's Bench Division The Right Hon. the President of the Queen's Bench Division Sir John Smith P[3] My Lord President Sir John Smith Sir John
Female President of the Queen's Bench Division The Right Hon. the President of the Queen's Bench Division Dame Jane Smith P[3] My Lady President Dame Jane Smith Dame Jane
Male President of the Family Division The Right Hon. the President of the Family Division Sir John Smith P[3] My Lord President Sir John Smith Sir John
Female President of the Family Division The Right Hon. the President of the Family Division Dame Jane Smith P[3] My Lady President Dame Jane Smith Dame Jane
Male Chancellor of the High Court The Right Hon. the Chancellor of the High Court Sir John Smith C[3] My Lord Chancellor Sir John Smith Sir John
Female Chancellor of the High Court The Right Hon. the Chancellor of the High Court Dame Jane Smith C[3] My Lady Chancellor Dame Jane Smith Dame Jane
Male Justice of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice (High Court judge) The Hon. Mr Justice Smith Smith J[2] My Lord Judge Sir John Smith Sir John
Female High Court judge The Hon. Mrs Justice Smith Smith J[2] My Lady Judge Dame Jane Smith Dame Jane
Master Master Smith Master Smith Master
Registrar Mr (Mrs) Registrar Smith Mr (Mrs) Registrar Smith Sir/Madam
Circuit Judge His (Her) Honour Judge Smith (QC) HHJ Smith (QC) My Lord (Lady) Judge Judge Smith Judge
Barrister sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge John Smith (QC) John Smith (QC)[2] My Lord (Lady)

If there are two Lord Justices of the High Court with the same surname, then the junior Justice will take their first name as part of their judicial title.[2] When two or more Justices are referred at the same time in a law report, their post-nominal letters become JJ.[3]

Junior courts[edit]

Office Judicial title Abbreviated title (in Law Reports, etc.) Form of address in court Form of address out of court Private title Private form of address
Circuit Judge sitting at the Central Criminal Court His (Her) Honour Judge Smith (QC) HHJ Smith (QC) My Lord (Lady) Judge Judge Smith Judge
Honorary Recorder His (Her) Honour Judge Smith (QC) HHJ Smith (QC) My Lord (Lady) Judge Judge Smith Judge
Circuit Judge His (Her) Honour Judge Smith (QC) HHJ Smith (QC) Your Honour Judge Judge Smith Judge
Deputy Circuit Judge His Honour John Smith (QC) HH John Smith (QC) Your Honour
Recorder sitting at the Central Criminal Court Mr (Mrs) Recorder Smith (QC) Mr (Mrs) Recorder Smith (QC) My Lord (Lady)
Recorder Mr (Mrs) Recorder Smith (QC) Mr (Mrs) Recorder Smith (QC) Your Honour
Adjudicator (Tribunal Judge) Mr (Mrs) Adjudicator Smith (QC) Mr (Mrs) Adjudicator Smith (QC) Sir/Madam
District Judge District Judge Smith DJ Smith Sir/Madam
District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) Smith DJ(MC) Smith Sir/Madam
Deputy District Judge Deputy District Judge Smith DDJ Smith Sir/Madam
Magistrate John Smith JP John Smith JP Your Worships (if addressed by solicitors); Sir/Madam (if addressed by Barristers)

Extinct titles[edit]

Office Judicial title Abbreviated title (in Law Reports, etc.) Form of address in court Form of address out of court Private title Private form of address
Lord Chancellor The Right Hon. the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain Lord Jones LC[2] My Lord Lord Chancellor Lord Smith (when title does not include a territorial designation)/The Lord Jones of Luton (when title includes a territorial designation) Lord Jones
Male Lord of Appeal in Ordinary The Right Hon. Lord Smith/The Lord Jones of Luton Lord Smith/Jones[2] My Lord Lord Smith/Jones Lord Smith (when title does not include a territorial designation)/The Lord Jones of Luton (when title includes a territorial designation) Lord Smith/Jones
Female Lord of Appeal in Ordinary The Right Hon. Baroness Williams/The Baroness Hale of Richmond Lady Hale[2] My Lady Baroness/Lady Williams/Hale Baroness/Lady Williams (when title does not include a territorial designation)

The Baroness/Lady Hale of Richmond (when title includes a territorial designation)

Baroness/Lady Williams/Hale
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas The Right Hon. the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas Sir John Smith CJ My Lord Chief Justice Sir John Smith Sir John
Chief Baron of the Exchequer The Right Hon. the Lord Chief Baron Sir John Smith LCB My Lord Lord Chief Baron Smith Sir John Smith Sir John
Chancellor of the High Court The Right Hon. the Vice-Chancellor Sir John Smith V-C[3] Your Honour Vice-Chancellor Sir John Smith Sir John
Baron of the Exchequer The Hon. Mr Baron Smith Smith B My Lord Sir John Smith Sir John

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Biographies of the Justices". Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (PDF) (4th ed.). Oxon: OUP. 2012. p. 19. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (PDF) (4th ed.). Oxon: OUP. 2012. p. 20. Retrieved 31 May 2013.