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Just call me Judge

View profile for Chloe Pereira
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Anyone who has had the misfortune to attend an Employment Tribunal hearing will be familiar with the slightly uncomfortable requirement to refer to the judge as either Sir or Madam. I once experienced a witness who took such umbrage at having to call the judge “Sir” that she point blank refused to do so. The Judge was not impressed, found against that party and issued a scathing attack of character of that particular witness in his judgement.

That unfortunate witness, and everyone else, can relax from now on. On 1 December it was announced that, with immediate effect, all judges in the Employment and Employment Appeals Tribunals should be referred to as “Judge”. 

I got to try it out recently, and it does feel a lot less like you’re at school and about to get into trouble. It will probably take a while for everyone to get used to the change – others at the hearing were still calling the judge ‘Madam’, and one attendee even referred to her as Ma’am. Judge, very graciously, responded to all nomenclatures, although we await written judgement to see whether anyone suffers a character assassination.