Tribunal Judges

There’s new guidance about how to address judges in some Courts and Tribunals, that applies to SEN Tribunals, which are part of the “First-tier Tribunal”.

We now all have to get used to calling judges “Judge” rather than “Sir” or “Madam”, whilst specialist members (“wing” members or ‘non-legal members of Tribunals’) continue to be addressed as “Sir” or “Madam”.

“Judge” has been a term used to verbally address English judges by people (mostly barristers) who encounter them outside of Court rooms, for a long time. Inherent in its usage is that the person being addressed is another lawyer, which will be why it’s not being used for specialist members.

A potentially useful phrase is “Judge, I wonder if it would assist you and your colleague(s), if I….”. The important bit is “you and your colleague(s)” as it gives you a less clunky/clumsy way of addressing your whole Tribunal panel at once than any of the alternatives.