English Judges and the Bar

Court of Appeal and High Court

Security note: For security reasons it is essential that correspondence to Judiciary - whether serving or retired at their private addresses should omit all reference to their Judicial rank. Plain or double envelopes must be used.

The tables below show you how to address members of the Court of Appeal and the High Court both verbally and in writing.


Court of Appeal

Judges who sit in the Court of Appeal (Lords Justices of Appeal) are Privy Counsellors. They are known officially as Lord Justices or Lady Justices. They should be addressed as follows:

Gender Address in Correspondence Dear... Orally In Court
Male:
The Right Honourable
Lord Justice Doe
Lord Justice

Lord Justice

My Lord
Appointed but not sworn of the Privy Council. The Honourable
Lord Justice Doe
Lord Justice Lord Justice My Lord
Retired The Right Honourable
Sir John Doe
Lord Justice or Judge or Sir John Sir John My Lord
Female: The Right Honourable Lady Justice Doe DBE Lady Justice Lady Justice Doe
or
My Lady
Appointed but not sworn of the Privy Council. The Honourable Lady Justice Doe DBE Lady Justice Lady Justice My Lady
Retired The Right Honourable Dame Mary Doe DBE Lady Justice or Judge or Dame Mary Dame Mary My Lady

Please note:

  • Forenames are not inserted unless there are two judges with the same or similar surname, in which case the junior judge of the two uses his forename and surname, eg Lord Justice Geoffrey Lane.
  • Judges sometimes sit after retirement, and if so are addressed in court as if they were still in office.

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High Court

Members of the High Court are not usually Privy Counsellors. Their official designation is as follows:

Gender Office/Position Address in Correspondence Dear... Orally In Court
Male
High Court judge and a Privy Counsellor
The Right Honourable Mr Justice Doe
Judge
Judge
My Lord
Male As above but retired The Right Honourable Sir John Doe Judge or Sir John Sir John My Lord
Male High Court judge not a Privy Counsellor The Honourable Mr Justice Doe
Judge Judge My Lord
Male As above but retired Sir John Doe Judge or Sir John Sir John My Lord
Female High Court judge and a Privy Counsellor The Right Honourable Mrs Justice Doe DBE (whether married or single) Judge Judge My Lady
Female As above but retired: The Right Honourable Dame Mary Doe DBE Judge or Dame Mary Dame Mary My Lady
Female High Court judge not a Privy Counsellor The Honourable Mrs Justice Doe DBE Judge Judge My Lady
Female As above but retired Dame Mary Doe DBE Judge or Dame Mary Dame Mary My Lady

Please note:

  • Forenames are not inserted unless there are two judges with the same or similar surname, in which case the junior Judge of the two uses his forename and surname.
  • High Court Judges are normally knighted as Knights Bachelor or appointed as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire as soon as possible after their appointment and should be addressed accordingly in their private capacities.
  • A High Court Judge, or a more senior member of the judiciary, is never given the letters QC after their name, even if a Queen's Counsel when at the bar.
  • Judges sometimes sit after retirement, and if so are addressed in court as if they were still in office.