Legal History

No More 'My Lord,' Court in India Says

Ending a longtime practice that harks back to the British colonization of India, a court in Madras yesterday began enforcing a rule that lawyers are not supposed to address the judge as “my lord” or “your lordship.”

Your honor, honorable court, and, in subordinate courts, sir or “any equivalent phrase in the regional language concerned” are all permitted, writes the Times of India.

Although a Bar Council of India resolution adopted in 2006 urged lawyers to comply with a rule that eliminates “my lord” and “your lordship” from a list of appropriate terms to use when addressing a judge, the practice had continued, the newspaper reports.

To enforce the new regime, Madras High Court Justice K. Chandru posted a message on a notice board requesting that lawyers not use the traditional “my lord” terminology.

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