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Supreme Court in Canada suspends the use of “My Lord”, “My Lady”, “Your Lordship”, and “Your Ladyship” in addressing Judges. Proposes a new one

British Columbia Court of Appeal has advised Counsel and parties to refrain from addressing justices as “my lady”, “my lord”, “your ladyship” or “your lordship”.

 

In a Practice Directive (Civil and Criminal) by Chief Justice R.J. Bauman dated the 18th of November 2021 obtained by Courtroom Mail, Counsel are no longer required to gown for hearings before a single justice. However, Counsel are required to gown for all hearings before a division of justices.

 

 

The directive also provides 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.

 

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 asked to refrain from 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”.

 

The Supreme Court of British Columbia also in a practice directive also dated 18th of November 2021 number PD-60 directs how counsel, litigants, witnesses and others are to address a justice in a courtroom.

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

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

 

The Court of Appeal is the highest court in the province. It hears appeals from the Supreme Court, from the Provincial Court on some criminal matters, and reviews and appeals from some administrative boards and tribunals

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