Formal terms 'my lord,' 'my lady' will no longer be used to address B.C. judges, courts say

Judges no longer 'my lord'

Judges in B.C. will no longer be referred to as “my lord” or “my lady,” the province's courts have announced, ending an archaic legal tradition that dates back centuries.

In a notice posted to the Courts of British Columbia website on Thursday, the B.C. Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeal announced they were “eliminating the practice” effective immediately.

Until now, judges in the two higher courts of B.C. had been addressed as “my lord” and “my lady,” while provincial court judges have been referred to as “your honour.”

Bulletins issued by the courts on Thursday ask lawyers and parties to “refrain from” and “avoid” using the formal titles, which come from dated legal customs in the U.K.

Earlier this year, Kamloops lawyer Jay Michi gained some traction with a Twitter campaign to do away with the use of "my lord" and "my lady."

Michi wrote a letter in January to B.C.’s chief justices outlining his pitch. He said they replied and thanked him for the note.

Among Michi’s supporters was former B.C. attorney general Geoff Plant, who told Castanet in January he hoped “the chief justices make this change sooner rather than later.”

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