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  • Writer's pictureYelena McCafferty

What you should know before coming to court

A newspaper in Northern Ireland has recently reported a situation that evoked smiles and even laughter, all because an interpreter addressed a judge as “Your Majesty”. Putting the embarrassing mistake aside, correct references to the judiciary can actually be tricky to follow for members of the public who are no court regulars.


To make the matters slightly more complicated, last year Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Senior President of Tribunals also announced some changes in the Modes of address in courts and tribunals. The new rules mean that District Judges, Tribunal Judges, Employment Judges should now be addressed in court or tribunal hearings as “Judge”.


Crown Court judges are addressed as “Your Honour” unless they’re sitting as a High Court judge or are a specially designated senior judge. In those cases, they’re addressed “My Lord” or “My Lady” – just as High Court judges, Senior judges and Court of Appeal judges.


Finally, the correct way to address magistrates in courts is Your Worship(s).


The reasons people of all walks of life find themselves in court are plentiful and often not through the fault of their own. And while the court will always write to parties before a court case is heard, I have not yet seen any letters or leaflets where parties would be advised of such simple things as the correct address in court. If mistakes are made, the judiciary may not take it personally or accuse anyone of contempt of court, however, it would be beneficial to know the rules from the get-go.


So for our Russian-speaking clients and beginner interpreters here’s the Russian translation of above-mentioned modes of address:


Judge – Судья

Your Honour – Ваша честь

My Lord – Милорд

My Lady – Миледи

Your Worship(s) – Ваша милость


[Tip: We often interpret in courts and translate court evidence for our clients all over the UK, if you need assistance, please email us at enquiry@talkrussian.com or call /WhatsApp: 0207 0436940.]


London Law Courts
The Royal Courts of Justice, London

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