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Lord and Ladyship no longer: Courts change terms for addressing Justices

The change is an effort to make courts more modernized and accessible
Image courtesy Creative Outlet

B.C.’s court systems are moving towards becoming more modern in their in-court language.

Announced Nov. 18 as part of updates to policies within B.C.’s Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, Justices will no longer be addressed as “my lady” and “my lord,” instead being called “your ladyship” and “your lordship”

Meanwhile, Justices of the Court of Appeal will be referred to as “Chief Justice”, “Justice”, “Madam Justice”, “Mr. Justice” or, collectively, as “Justices.”

For most non-lawyers, the changes mean little, but for those in the field the changes are receiving some reaction.

“This is an important step in making our courts inclusive and approachable institutions,” David Brown, a labour and employment lawyer, tweeted.

“This approach to honorifics used in the courtroom is much better aligned with gender inclusion, anti-colonialism, and reconciliation,” Dustin Klaudt, co-chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s SOGIC.

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