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Section: B

Category: Article

Paper Code: RA-SS-06

Page Number: 288 - 294

Date of Publication: February 10, 2021

Citation: Saloni Sharma & Riya Sharma, Lack of Uniform Code of Conduct to Address the Judges in India, 1, AIJACLA, 288, 288-294, (2021),

Details Of Author(s):

Saloni Sharma, 3rd Year B.B.A.LL.B, Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology


Riya Sharma, 3rd Year B.B.A.LL.B, Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology

ABSTRACT This paper shows the light regarding the matter of lack of a uniform code of conduct to address the judges in India. We will examine that no law focuses on this theme in India, while in different nations there is legitimate law and an appropriate method of tending to a judge. Through this work, we are endeavoring to improve an understanding of the possibility that there should be a law concerning this, as due to the absence of any elaborate laid procedure shows the total nonattendance of a standard of law, and we will also talk about the punishments for not respecting the judges and court. The last purpose of this paper is how we can improve law and for what reason it's so essential to have a law in regards to this. As not having a fixed rule regarding addressing the judges violates the concept of rule of law. KEYWORDS Bar Council of India, Judges, Lawyer, and Your Honour


The main objective of picking this topic regarding addressing the judges in India is that the law regarding this topic is vague and we ignore the fact that there is no such law in India in this regard. A judge is an individual who is accountable for a preliminary in a court and chooses how an individual who is liable for any crime should be dismissed, or who settles on choices on lawful issues. The position of the judges is extremely dignified, distinguished, and honorable, still there is no such law in India regarding this. Indeed, even district court lawyers address the judges as "Sahab Ji" which is ill-advised and wrong to call a noble position. The point we pick is somewhat extraordinary and a large portion of the individuals are ignorant about the realities that in India there is no specific law in regards to this and this is so essential to through a light regarding the matter since judges are the ones who bring justice and they ought to be upgraded by a particular name and with due regard. So, how this topic came into the limelight as before now no one is talking about the law regarding addressing a judge in India? On 13th August 2020, a fascinating trade occurred between the main equity of India Justice SA Bobde and a lawyer on how to address judges in court? A lawyer tended to a seat headed by the CJI, which was hearing the cases through the video conferencing, as your honor. CJI Bobde inquired with the lawyer whether it is true that he was showing up under the US Supreme court'? As indicated by the CJI Bobde the utilization of your honor isn't Indian yet American. The lawyer submitted before the seat that there is nothing in law that recommends an address by a lawyer. CJI remarked that it is about the act of the court. The attorney at that point said that there is no recommended law on the most proficient method to address decisions in Indian courts. To this, CJI Bobde stated that “it may not be in the law yet it is about the act of the court. The judicial system in India doesn’t utilize 'your honor'. If it's not too much trouble utilize the terms that are utilized by and by in India.” The question needs to be asked as to why there is no recommended law regarding addressing judges in India. Unlike India, all the counties have the law regarding this issue. So, if in India the specific law would be made regarding this then it will be simple for the lawyers as after the law all the lawyers will address judges by a specific name and there would not be any disagreement identified with this as all will use the same designation to call judges and decorum of the court will also be maintained.

VIEW OF JUDICIARY REGARDING UNIFORM EXPRESSION TO ADDRESS THE JUDGES IN INDIA On 6th January 2014, the pre-eminent court seat of Ex-CJI judges HL Dattu and CJI Bobde heard and excused the PIL recorded by 75-year-old lawyer Shiv Sagar Tiwari. The applicant had looked for a decision for a uniform expression to decide in courts the nation over. The applicant needed a prohibition on utilizing the expressions "my master or your lordship" in courts is a relic of provincial time and an indication of subjugation.[1] Curiously, in 2014, the Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, was essential for the Supreme Court seat with Justice HL Dattu when they decided that it was not necessary to call them "my lord", "your lordship" or "your honor".[2] The Supreme Court seat had then stated, "To address the court what do we need, just a decent method of tending to. You call judges “sir”, it is acknowledged. You consider it your honor, it is acknowledged. You call “lordship” acknowledged. These are a portion of the proper methods of articulation, which are acknowledged." As of late two occasions have hung out in this regard. Hon’ble Justice S Muralidhar, whose move from the Delhi HC to the Punjab and Haryana High Court prompted a debate, in March, mentioned lawyers to abstain from utilizing terms, for example, "my master" or "your lordship" while tending to him. A note was given to the association as indicated by Justice Muralidhar in this regard that the individuals from the Bar may attempt to abstain from tending to the judges as 'your lordship' or 'my master'.[3] The Punjab and Haryana HC Bar Association had recently requested individuals to incline toward tending to judges as "sir" or "your honor". Notwithstanding, the majority of lawyers kept on utilizing "your lordship" to address the judges.[4] This year, in July, Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan prompted all the lawyers under the ward of the high court to address him as "Sir" rather than "My Lord" or "Your Lordship" as has been the standard.[5] The enlistment center general at that point shot off a letter to all officials of the state in this association. In 2019, Justice S Ravindra Bhatt was a Supreme Court judge - as the Rajasthan High Court boss equity had recommended not to utilize "My Lord" to address the judges of the high court.[6]


Unlike India, most countries have a proper code of conduct as to how they are supposed to address the judge. Each country has its way of calling its judges. In the United States, a judge is addressed as “Your honor” and the person knows the judge they just call him or her as “Judge”. In any context, they avoid addressing judges as “Sir” or “Ma’am”.[7] When writing a letter, the judge is addressed as “The Honorable”. The United States has a proper code of conduct as to how judges there are addressed. India, however, doesn’t have any law as to how the judges should be addressed.

In the United Kingdom judiciary which is similar to the Indian judicial system, there the Senior Judiciary, Court of Appeal Judge, and HC Judges are addressed as “My Lord” or “My Lady”, Circuit Judges are addressed as “Your Honour” and District judges, Magistrates, Tribunal Judges, Employment Judges as “Sir “or “Madam”.[8] In India, Judges were earlier addressed as “My Lord” or “My Lady”; recently it was made non-mandatory for lawyers to address judges as “My Lord or My Lady” because it indicates being enslaved.

In Canada, addressing the judge depends on the court as each court has its particular way of addressing the judge, and judges are properly addressed there, you cannot call them "sir," or "ma'am,". Judges of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court are addressed as “My Lord”, or “My Lady”, or “Your Lordship,” or “Your Ladyship”. Masters, registrars of the Supreme Court, and Provincial Court Judges are addressed as “Your Honour”. Justices were earlier referred to as “your worship”, but this practice is somewhat fading, and now it is acceptable to refer to judges as “your honor”.[9]

In Australia, in court, the judges are addressed as “Your Honour”. Outside the courtroom, the judges are addressed as “Judge” or by simply calling by Judge (surname) or his/her honor. When writing to a judge, the appropriate mode to address him as “His/Her Honour Judge (surname).[10] Judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or High Court are authoritatively named The Honourable Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Justice Surname, and casually alluded to for short as Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Justice Surname. In court, they are tended to as per their particular titles or styles, as The Court, or Judge. In law reports, the Chief Justice of Ireland has the post-nominal CJ, the Presidents of different Courts have the post-nominal P, and all different appointed authorities J, for example, Smith J.[11] Judges of the Circuit Court are named His/her Honour Judge Surname and are tended to in Court as Judge. Before 2006, they tended to as My Lord. Judges of the District Court are named Judge Surname and tended to in Court as Judge. Under the steady gaze of 1991, these appointed authorities were referred to as District Justices and tended to as Your Worship.[12]


In April 2006, the BCI adopted a resolution and it included another Rule 49(1) (j) in the Advocates Act. As stated by custom, lawyers can address the court as “Your Honour” and allude to it as Honourable Court. On the off chance that it is a subordinate court, a lawyer can utilize terms, such as, ‘sir’ or any stage proportionate expression in the provincial language concerned. Justifying this move with reason, the Bar Council held that the words, for example, My Lord or My Lady were antiques of the provincial past. The goal has since been circled to all state committees and the Supreme Court for selection, however, more than five years have passed and the goal stayed on paper. Be that as it May, October 2009, one of the judges of Madras HC, Justice K Chandru had prohibited legal advisors from tending to his court as My Lord and Your Lordship.[13]

Although there is no such punishment given in the Indian constitution regarding this, the Law Commission of India (Chair: Justice B.S. Chauhan)[14] submitted its report on the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. The idea of contempt of court is extremely old. In England, it is a common-law rule that protects the legal intensity of the ruler, at first practiced without anyone else, and later by a board of judges who acted in his name violation of the appointed authorities' requests were viewed as an attack against the ruler himself. Later on, any sort of rebellion to judges, or deterrent of the usage of their orders, or remarks and activities that demonstrated a lack of regard towards them came to be punishable. These were pre-Independence laws of contempt in India. Other than the early High Courts, the courts of some regal states likewise had such laws. At the point when the Constitution was received, hatred of the court was made one of the limitations on the right to speak freely of discussion and persuasiveness. Independently, Article 129 of the Constitution presented on the Supreme Court the ability to rebuff scorn of itself. Article 215 presented a comparing power on the High Courts. The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, gives legal sponsorship to the thought.[15]

Contempt refers to the offense of not showing respect to the dignity or authority of a court. The Act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt. Civil contempt refers to the willful disobedience of an order of any court. Criminal contempt includes any act or publication which scandalizes the court, or prejudices any judicial proceeding, interferes with the administration of justice in any other manner. ‘Scandalising the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary. [16]


The paper revolves around one thing: How to address a judge in India? So after analyzing this issue in this paper, we are now in a position to answer the questions that we asked at the beginning of this paper. The concept of this is unclear; there is no particular law regarding this even though the high court and the supreme court of many countries like Punjab and Haryana discussed the topic that lawyers should call judges in a proper dignified manner but they are not obeying the rule and not taking this seriously. The reason behind this is that there is no recommended penal provision regarding this. Contempt of court is the only way to punish the lawyers, but contempt of court is treated as a secondary provision and generally, no one gets punished under the law. This is a very harsh truth that there is no fixed part of the basic structure of the constitution regarding this as judges are the ones who provide justice to every individual yet there is no law in India regarding how to address judges. There should be written law or fixed law regarding the title of the judges.

According to A.V. Dicey first principle of law is that justice must be done through known principles. If the rules are fixed then there will be limited scope for arbitrariness and if the rules are not fixed then it invites discretion which is the antithesis to rule of law. So to ensure rule of law there must be a proper and written law. According to Dicey, the act of intensity ought to be approved by clear legitimate guidelines. Government authorities should likewise comply with the principles sanctioned by the Parliament and this must be guaranteed if the courts have the purview to authorize as far as possible which oversee the activity of chief force. It follows that privative conditions – arrangements which endeavor to restrict or bar the capacity of people to challenge the maltreatment of intensity by government authorities in free courts – are an attack on the standard of law.[17]

To end the ongoing debate about how lawyers should address the judges in court, the government should establish a law regarding this issue. The law should consist of a proper code of conduct for lawyers and judges that countries like the USA and UK have. This law will prevent any confusion from arising in the future. And through this the judges will get the respect that they deserve being on such a higher authority, lawyers address them as “Sahab-Ji” in district court which is not as dignified. It neglects to give our court framework its very own character and a feeling of belongingness to the residents.

Therefore, The BCI decision of making the use of such titles other than “Your Honour” or any word equivalent to it non-mandatory. This ensures that judges are addressed in a dignified manner and it’s also not demeaning for lawyers.[18] The Supreme Court has a lot of other cases to handle which are more important than this so the Bar Council Of India should revise the laws that it implemented earlier in 2016 as those laws are not strict enough and lawyers are not following those laws. The BCI could impose some sort of punishment that has penal provisions, which attract punishment such as canceling their license, impose a fine for the lawyer, and in some rare cases, the punishment of imprisonment could be used against the lawyer.

[1] Calling judges lor, lordship, your honour not mandatory: Supreme Court, India, Press trust of India, NDTV, (Oct. 2020, 11, 11:00 AM), [2] Indian Legal Solution, Calling judges lord, your honour not mandatory: SC, Indian Legal Solution, (Oct. 2020, 11, 10:30 PM), [3] S Muralidhar, Justice Muralidhar farewell speech, the wire, (Oct. 2020, 22, 09:30 PM), [4] Justice Muralidhar requests lawyers to avoid using terms like my lord while addressing him, Times of India, (Oct. 2020, 22, 09:45 PM), [5]Namani Jain, Address me as Sir and not My Lord, Calcutta HC Chief Justice Thottathli B. Nair Radhakrishnan, LawyersClubIndia (Oct. 2020, 30, 03:00 PM), [6]Aneesha Mathur & Prabhash K Dutta, Are you in US Supreme Court: As lawyer addresses CJI Bobde with your honour, judge shoots him down, India Today (Nov. 2020, 05. 07:30 PM), [7] Addressing judges in writing, Chapman University,, (Nov. 2020, 05, 11:00 AM), [8] What do I call a Judge? ICLR, (Nov. 2020, 10, 09:30 PM), . [9] Styles of address, Government of Canada, (Nov. 2020, 11, 10:00 AM), [10] How to address a federal circuit court judge, Federal circuit court of Australia, (Nov. 2020, 13, 10:45 PM), http// [11] Carol Coulter, Manner of Addressing judges in court to change, (Nov. 2020, 11, 10:20 AM), [12] Ireland, Courts Service of Rules and Fees: Mode of address:Court Rules : Courts Service of Ireland, An tSeirbhis Chuiteanna Court Service, (Nov. 2020, 18, 09:45 AM), [13] Adv John, BCI restricts the advocates from addressing the courts as my lord and my lordship, Pathlegal, (Nov. 2020, 18, 11:45 AM), [14] 21st Law Commission of India. [15] K. Venkataramanan, What is contempt of court?, The Hindu, (Nov. 2020, 20, 09:45 AM), [16] Roshini Sinha, Review of Contempt of Court Act,1971, PRS Legislative Research, (Nov. 2020, 20, 11:15 AM), [17] The Rule of Law and Separation of powers, 4, MLJ (2004), (Nov. 2020, 28, 04:15 PM), [18] How judges are addressed in courts of different countries?, Law Corner, (Nov. 2020, 28, 08:30 PM),

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