Court Room Etiquette | Advocacy Law Study Guide

You need to be familiar with the etiquette of the court you are appearing before, such as the correct way to address the court, your opponent and witnesses. The following details the ways you should address the bench, the other side and witnesses:-

Addressing the Bench

You should address members of the bench in the following ways:

  • A Bench of lay magistrates should be addressed as 'Your worships' or 'Sir/Madam and your colleagues'.
  • A circuit judge/recorder should be referred to as 'Your Honour'
  • A district judge of the High Court and County Court should be addressed as 'Sir' or 'Madam'
  • A master of the Supreme Court or a taxing master should be addressed as 'Master'

Addressing the other side

If the person representing the other party is a Barrister you should refer to them as 'my learned friend'. If the other party is represented by a solicitor you should refer to them as 'My friend'. If the other party is acting as a litigant in person you should refer to them as 'the claimant/defendant' or 'Mr/Mrs/Miss .......'.

Addressing witnesses

You should address witnesses directly as 'Mr/Mrs/Miss ..... etc'. If the witness is a child they should be addressed by their forename.