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A JUDGE is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions . The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court . The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury . In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate .


* 1 Symbols of office

* 2 Titles and forms of address

* 2.1 Asia

* 2.1.1 Hong Kong * 2.1.2 India * 2.1.3 Israel * 2.1.4 Japan * 2.1.5 Malaysia * 2.1.6 Pakistan * 2.1.7 Sri Lanka

* 2.2 Europe

* 2.2.1 Bulgaria * 2.2.2 Finland * 2.2.3 France * 2.2.4 Germany * 2.2.5 Hungary * 2.2.6 Ireland * 2.2.7 Italy * 2.2.8 Netherlands * 2.2.9 Poland * 2.2.10 Portugal * 2.2.11 Russia * 2.2.12 Spain * 2.2.13 Sweden

* 2.2.14 United Kingdom

* England and Wales * Scotland * Northern Ireland

* 2.3 North America

* 2.3.1 Canada * 2.3.2 United States

* 2.4 Oceania

* 2.4.1 Australia * 2.4.2 New Zealand

* 2.5 South America

* 2.5.1 Brazil

* 2.6 International courts

* 3 Biblical judges * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links


17th century Spanish judge in full gowns, by Velázquez. Main article: Court dress

A variety of traditions have become associated with the rank or occupation.

In many parts of the world, judges wear long robes (often in black or red) and sit on an elevated platform during trials (known as the bench).

In some countries, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations , judges wear wigs . The long wig often associated with judges is now reserved for ceremonial occasions, although it was part of the standard attire in previous centuries. A short wig resembling but not identical to a barrister 's wig (a Bench Wig) would be worn in court. This tradition, however, is being phased out in Britain in non-criminal courts.

American judges frequently wear black robes. American judges have ceremonial gavels , although American judges have court deputies or bailiffs and _contempt of court _ power as their main devices to maintain decorum in the courtroom. However, in some of the Western United States , like California, judges did not always wear robes and instead wore everyday clothing. Today, some members of state supreme courts , such as the Maryland Court of Appeals wear distinct dress.

In Italy and Portugal , both judges and lawyers wear particular black robes.

In Oman , the judge wears a long stripe (red, green white), while the attorneys wear the black gown.


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Hong Kong

In Hong Kong , court proceedings are conducted in either English or Cantonese Chinese. Judges of Hong Kong retain many of the English traditions such as wearing wigs and robes in trials.

In the lower courts, magistrates are addressed as _Your worship_, and district court judges as _Your Honour_.

In the superior courts of record, namely the Court of Final Appeal and the High Court (which consists of the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance ), judges are addressed as _My Lord_ or _My Lady_ and referred to as _Your Lordship_ or _Your Ladyship_, following the English tradition.

In writing, the post-nominal letters _PJ_ is used to refer to a permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal and _NPJ_ to a non-permanent judge. In the High Court, the abbreviation _JA_ is used to denote a justice of appeal, and the letter _J_ refers to a judge of the Court of First Instance.

Masters of the High Court are addressed as _Master_.

When trials are conducted in Chinese, judges were addressed, in Cantonese , as _Fat Goon Dai Yan_ (法官大人, literally "Judge, Your Lordship") before the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, and as _Fat Goon Gok Ha_ (法官閣下, "Judge, Your Honour") since 1997. _Fat Goon_ (法官) means "judge".


These drawings were taken from life in 1758. From left to right, top row: 1. Interpreter, Rhowangee Sewagee. 2. Judge of the Hindoo Law, Antoba Crustnagee Pundit. 3. Hindoo Officer, Lellather Chatta Bhutt. From left to right, bottom row: 4. Officer to the Mooremen, Mahmoud Ackram of the Codjee order or priesthood of the cast of Moormens. 5. Judge of the Mohomedan Law, Cajee Husson. 6. Haveldar, or summoning Officer, Mahmound Ismael'.

In India, judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts were addressed as _Your Lordship_ or _My Lord_ and _Your Ladyship_ or _My Lady_, a tradition directly attributable to England. The Bar Council of India had adopted a resolution in April 2006 and added a new Rule 49 (1) (j) in the Advocates Act . As per the rule, lawyers can address the court as _Your Honour_ and refer to it as _Honourable Court_. If it is a subordinate court, lawyers can use terms such as _sir_ or any equivalent phrase in the regional language concerned. Explaining the rationale behind the move, the Bar Council had held that the words such as _My Lord_ and _Your Lordship_ were "relics of the colonial past". The resolution has since been circulated to all state councils and the Supreme Court for adoption but over five years now, the resolution largely remained on paper.

However, in an unprecedented move in October 2009, one of the judges of Madras HC, Justice K Chandru had banned lawyers from addressing his court as _My Lord_ and _Your Lordship_.


In Israel, Judge is named Shofet, the judges of all courts are addressed as _Sir_ or _Madam_ (_אדוני_/_גבירתי_) or _Your Honor_ (_כבודו_/_כבודה_). Much of the time after every naming you will hear "HaShofet", meaning "the judge" after the respective address. Example: _Your Honor the Judge_ (_כבוד השופט_)


In Japan, judges are addressed simply as _Saibancho_ (裁判長, literally "the Chief Justice") or _Saibankan_ (裁判官, literally "Judge").


In Malaysia, judges of the subordinate courts are addressed as _Tuan_ or _Puan_ ("Sir" or "Madam"), or _Your Honour_. Judges of the superior courts are addressed as _Yang Arif_ (lit. "Learned One") or _My Lord_ or _My Lady_; and _Your Lordship_ or _My Ladyship_ if the proceedings, as they generally are in the superior courts, are in English.


In Pakistan, judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts are addressed as _Your Lordship_ or _My Lord_ and _Your Ladyship_ or _My Lady_, a tradition directly attributable to England. There is some resistance to this on religious grounds but more or less continues till this day. In lower courts, judges are addressed as _sir_, _madam_ or the Urdu equivalent _Janab_.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka , judges of most courts are addressed as _Your Honour_, however the Chief Justice is addressed as _Your Lordship_. Judges of the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court receives the title _The Honourable_.



In Bulgaria before 1989 during the communist regime judges were addressed as _другарю_ ("comrade"). After 1989, _господин_ or _госпожо съдия_.


The male presiding judge of a court is addressed as _"Puheenjohtaja"_ , which means "Mister Chairman" and a female presiding judge is usually addressed as _"Arvostettu tuoli"_ , which means "esteemed chair"; which can be used also when addressing a male presiding judge (this Finnish word "puheenjohtaja" does not refer to gender). There are no robes or cloaks used in any Finnish courts.


In France, the presiding judge of a court is addressed as _Monsieur le président_ or _Madame le président_, whilst associated judges are addressed as _Monsieur l'Assesseur_ or _Madame l'Assesseur_. Out of the court room judges are referred to as _Monsieur le juge_ or _Madame le juge_.


In Germany, judges are addressed as _Herr Vorsitzender_ or _Frau Vorsitzende_, which translate as "Mister Chairman" and "Madam Chairwoman", or as "Hohes Gericht".


The male presiding judge of a court is addressed as _tisztelt bíró úr_, which means "Honourable Mister Judge" and a female presiding judge is addressed as _tisztelt bírónő_, which means "Honourable Madam Judge". The court as a body can be addressed as _tisztelt bíróság_, which means "Honourable Court".


Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court are officially titled _The Honourable Mr_, _The Honourable Mrs_, _The Honourable Ms_, or _The Honourable Miss Justice_; referred to for short as _Mr Justice_, _Mrs Justice_, _Ms Justice_, or _Miss Justice_; and addressed in court by their respective titles or styles, as _The Court_, or simply _Judge_. Some barristers continue occasionally to use the traditional mode of style, _My Lord_, but this has been discouraged since 2006. In law reports, the Chief Justice of Ireland has the postnominal _CJ_, the President of the High Court the postnominal _P_, and all other judges _J_, e.g. _Smith J_.

Judges of the Circuit Court are titled _His Honour Judge_ or _Her Honour Judge_ and are addressed in Court as _Judge_. Before 2006, they were addressed as _My Lord_. In law reports, _Judge_.

Judges of the District Court are titled _Judge_ and addressed in Court as _Judge_. Before 1991 these judges were known as district justices and addressed as _Your Worship_.


Giovanni Falcone , one of the most influential European judges of the 20th century.

In Italy, the presiding judge of a court is addressed as _Signor presidente della corte_.


In the Netherlands , presiding judges of either sex are, in writing only, addressed _edelachtbare_ ("Your Honor") for judges in the Court of First Instance, _edelgrootachtbare_ ("Your Great Honor") for justices in the Court of Appeal and _edelhoogachtbare_ ("Your High Honor") for justices in the High Council of the Netherlands (Supreme Court).


In Poland, presiding judges of either sex during trial are addressed _Wysoki Sądzie_ ("High Court").


In Portugal , presiding judges during trial are addressed as _Meretíssimo Juiz_ when a man or _Meretíssima Juíza_ when a woman (meaning "Most Worthy Judge") or as _Vossa Excelência_ ("Your Excellency") when not specifying gender.


In Russia as _Your Honor_ ("Ваша Честь" trans. "Vasha Chest") for criminal cases only with the one judge presiding. For civil, commercial and criminal cases presided over by a panel of judges the right address is _Honorable Court_.


In Spain, magistrates of the Supreme Court, magistrates and judges are addressed to as "Your Lordship" (_Su Señoría_); however, in formal occasions, magistrates of the Supreme Court are addressed to as "Your Right Honorable Lordship" (_Vuestra Señoría Excelentísima_ or _Excelentísimo Señor_/_Excelentísima Señora_); in those solemn occasions, magistrates of lower Courts are addressed as "Your Honorable Lordship" (_Vuestra Señoría Ilustrísima_ or _Ilustrísimo Señor_/_Ilustrísima Señora_); simple judges are always called "Your Lordship".


In Sweden, the presiding judge of a court is normally addressed as _Herr Ordförande_ or _Fru Ordförande_, which translate as "Mister Chairman" and "Madam Chairwoman".

United Kingdom

England And Wales

The Judge, a figurine by Royal Doulton .

In the Courts of England and Wales , Supreme Court , judges are called Justices of the Supreme Court. Justices of the Supreme Court who do not hold life peerages are now given the courtesy style "Lord" or "Lady." Justices of the Supreme Court are addressed as "My Lord/Lady" in court. In the law reports, the Justices of the Supreme Court are usually referred to as "Lord/Lady N", although the Weekly Law Reports appends the post-nominal letters "JSC" (e.g. "Lady Smith JSC"). The President and Deputy President of the Court are afforded the post-nominal letters PSC and DPSC respectively. Only experienced barristers or solicitors are usually appointed as judges.

Judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal are addressed (when sitting in those courts) as "My Lord" or "My Lady" and referred to as "Your Lordship" or "Your Ladyship".

Judges of the Court of Appeal, also called Lords Justice of Appeal , are referred to as "Lord Justice N" or "Lady Justice N." In legal writing, Lords Justices of Appeal are afforded the post nominal letters "LJ:" for example, Smith LJ.

When a Justice of the High Court who is not present is being referred to they are described as "Mr./Mrs./Ms. Justice _N._" In legal writing, the post-nominal letter "J" is used to denote a Justice (male or female) of the High Court: for example, Smith J. Masters of the High Court are addressed as "Master".

Circuit Judges and Recorders are addressed as "Your Honour". Circuit judges are referred to as "His/Her Honour Judge N." In writing, this title is occasionally abbreviated as "HHJ" or "HH Judge N", but not in legal writing. district judges and tribunal judges are addressed as "Sir/Madam".

Lay magistrates are sometimes still addressed as " Your Worship " in much of England, although in northern England " Your Honour " is more usually used by advocates before the court. Lay magistrates are also addressed as "Sir/Madam."


In the Courts of Scotland judges in the Court of Session , High Court of Justiciary and Sheriff Courts are all addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lady" and referred to as "Your Lordship" or "Your Ladyship".

Justices of the Peace in Justice of the Peace Courts are addressed and referred to as "Your Honour".

Northern Ireland

The judicial system of Northern Ireland is very similar to that of England and Wales, and superior court judges are addressed the same way as those in England and Wales. However, there are a few differences at the lower levels.

In Northern Ireland, the equivalent to a Circuit Judge is a County Court Judge, and they are addressed and titled the same way as a Circuit Judge is in England and Wales. The senior County Court Judges assigned to the County Court Divisions of Belfast and Derry have the titles of _Recorder of Belfast_ and _Recorder of Londonderry_ respectively, but are addressed the same as other County Court Judges. A district judge sitting in the County Court is addressed as "Your Honour".

A District Judge (Magistrates' Court) is addressed as "Your Worship". A Lay Magistrate, in cases where they are present, is also addressed as "Your Worship", and may use the post nominals "LM", e.g. "John Smith LM".



In general, Canadian judges may be addressed directly, depending on the province, as "My Lord", "My Lady", "Your Honour" or "Justice" and are formally referred to in the third person as "The Honourable Mr. (or Madam) Justice 'Forename Surname'". Less formally, judges of a Superior Court are referred to as " Justice 'Surname'", not as "Judge 'Surname.'" When referred to in a decision of a court, judges' titles are often abbreviated to the suffix "J.", so that Justice Smith will be referred to as Smith J. Judges in some superior courts are addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lady". In Ontario , judges are never referred to as "My Lord" or "My Lady," but only as "Your Honour" at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice .

Generally, it is only appropriate to use the term "judge" when speaking of an anonymous or general position, such as "the trial judge," or when referring to a member of an inferior or provincial court such as the Ontario Court of Justice. The exception is Citizenship Judges who are referred to only as " Judge 'Surname.'" in accordance with their appointment as independent decision makers of the Citizenship Commission .

Like other members of the Commonwealth, a justice of the peace is addressed as "Your Worship," and a Master of a Superior Court is both addressed and referred to as "Master."

United States

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A judge presides over court in a California courtroom.

In many states throughout the United States , a judge is addressed as "Your Honor" or "Judge" when presiding over the court. "Judge" may be more commonly used by attorneys and staff, while either may be common with the plaintiff or the defendant. Notably, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County , the largest unified trial court in the United States, has a rule that the judge shall be addressed only as "Your Honor," and never as "Judge," " Judge (name)," "ma'am," or "sir." This is somewhat unusual as "Judge" and " Judge (name)" or similar forms of address are considered appropriate and respectful in many other courts.

The judges of the Supreme Court of the United States , and the judges of the supreme courts of several US states and other countries are called "justices". Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States and Justices of other courts are addressed as " Justice (name)." The Chief Justice of the United States is formally addressed as "Mr. Chief Justice" but also may be identified and addressed as "Chief Justice (name)".

The justices of the supreme courts usually hold higher offices than any other judges in a jurisdiction, including a justice of the peace , a judge who holds police court in some jurisdictions and who may also try small claims and misdemeanors . However, the state of New York inverts this usual order. The initial trial court in this state is called the Supreme Court of New York, and its judges are called "justices". The next highest appellate court is the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, whose judges are also called "justices". However, the highest court in New York is called the New York Court of Appeals, whose members are called "judges".

New York judges who deal with guardianships, trusts and estates are uniquely known as "surrogates ."

A _senior judge ,_ in US practice, is a retired judge who handles selected cases for a governmental entity while in retirement, on a part-time basis.

Subordinate or inferior jurisdiction judges in US legal practice are sometimes called magistrates , although in the federal court of the United States, they are called magistrate judges . Subordinate judges in US legal practice who are appointed on a case-by-case basis, particularly in cases where a great deal of detailed and tedious evidence must be reviewed, are often called "masters" or "special masters" and have authority in a particular case often determined on a case by case basis.

Judges of courts of specialized jurisdiction (such as bankruptcy courts or juvenile courts ) were sometimes known officially as "referees ," but the use of this title is in decline. Judges sitting in courts of equity in common law systems (such as judges in the equity courts of Delaware ) are called "chancellors ."

Individuals with judicial responsibilities who report to an executive branch official, rather than being a part of the judiciary, are often called "administrative law judges " in US practice. They were previously known as hearing examiners. They commonly make initial determinations regarding matters such as workers\' compensation , eligibility for government benefits, regulatory matters, and immigration determinations.

Judges who derive their authority from a contractual agreement of the parties to a dispute, rather than a governmental body are called arbitrators . They typically do not receive the honorific forms of address nor do they bear the symbolic trappings of a publicly appointed judge. However, it is now common for many retired judges to serve as arbitrators, and they will often write their names as if they were still judges, with the parenthetical "(Ret.)" for "Retired."

Unlike many civil law countries; which have some courts on which panels of judges with nearly equal status composed of both legally trained professional judges and lay judges who lack legal training and are not career judges, the United States legal system (like most Anglo-American legal systems) makes a clear distinction between professional judges and laypeople involved in deciding a case who are jurors who are part of a jury . Most but not all US judges have professional credentials as lawyers. Non-lawyer judges in the United States are often elected, and are typically either justices of the peace or part-time judges in rural limited jurisdiction courts . A non-lawyer judge typically has the same rights and responsibilities as a lawyer who is a judge holding the same office and is addressed in the same manner.



In Australia judges, and since 2007, magistrates, of all jurisdictions including the High Court of Australia are now addressed as "Your Honour". In legal contexts, they are referred to as "His/Her Honour" and "the Honourable Justice Surname" (for judges of superior courts) or "his/her Honour Judge Surname" (for inferior courts). Outside legal contexts, the formal terms of address are "Judge" (for puisne justices) or "Chief Justice" (for chief justices).

The title for most puisne judges is "Justice", which is abbreviated in law reports to a postnominal "J", in the form "Surname J". Chief Justices of the High Court and of state Supreme Courts are titled "Chief Justice", which is abbreviated in law reports to a postnomial "CJ". Judges in State Supreme Courts with a separate Court of Appeal division (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia) are referred to as Justices/Judges of the Appeal (abbreviated "Surname JA"), while the President of the Court of Appeal is referred to as "President" (abbreviated "Surname P").

New Zealand

In New Zealand , judges of the District Court of New Zealand generally referred to as "His/Her Honour" or "Sir/Madame." Judges from the High Court , Appeals Court , and Supreme Court are referred to as " Justice ." In social settings, it is appropriate to use "Judge" in all cases.



In Brazil , judges are simply called "Juiz" or "Juíza" (male and female forms of "judge") and traditionally addressed to as "Vossa Excelência" (lit. "Your Excellency", translated as "Your Honor") or "Meritíssimo" (lit. "Honorable", but it is used as a pronoun also translated as "Your Honor"). Judges that are part of a panel in a State Court, or Federal Court are called "desembargadores". Judges sitting in the higher courts (Supremo Tribunal Federal , Superior Tribunal de Justiça , Tribunal Superior do Trabalho , Superior Tribunal Militar and Tribunal Superior Eleitoral ) are called "ministro" or "ministra" (male and female forms of "minister") and also referred to as "Vossa Excelência".


Judges at the International Court of Justice

At the International Court of Justice , judges may be addressed by the titles they received in their countries of origin.

Judges of the International Criminal Court are referred to as "judge."


The Biblical Book of Judges revolves around a succession of leaders who were known as "judges" ( Hebrew shoftim שופטים) but who – aside from their judicial function – were also tribal war leaders. The same word is, however, used in contemporary Israel to denote judges whose function and authority is similar to that in other modern countries.


* Adjudicator * Barrister * Court dress * Election judge * Judicial deference * Judiciary * Lawyer * Lay judge * List of jurists * Magistrate * Prosecutor * Public defender * Solicitor


* ^ Hosted.ap.org * ^ Корнажер, П. - "Съдебна реторика. Избрани съдебни речи", ИК Софи-Р, С., 2000, с. 77 * ^ _A_ _B_ "Criminal Procedure Code of Russia, Article 257. Regulations of the court session". Consultant.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-11. * ^ "Civil Procedure Code of Russia, Article 158. Procedure of the court session". Consultant.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-11. * ^ "Arbitral Procedure Code of Russia, Article 154. Procedure of the court session". Consultant.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-11. * ^ http://www.supremecourt.uk/docs/pr_1013.pdf * ^ http://www.law.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofLaw/Education/handbooks/Filetoupload,150353,en.pdf Archived 2012-01-18 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Albertacourts.ab.ca". Albertacourts.ab.ca. Retrieved 2013-06-11. * ^ " Ontario Justice Education Network Handout: The Jurisdiction of Ontario Courts" (PDF). Ontario Justice Education Network. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2016-02-23. * ^ Rule 3.95, Los Angeles Superior Court Rules. * ^ New South Wales Supreme Court, Addressing Judicial Officers Archived 2013-08-18 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ " New Zealand Law Society". _www.lawsociety.org.nz_. Retrieved 2017-03-01.


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