No more ‘My Lord’, ‘Your Lordship’ in Punjab & Haryana HC


CHANDIGARH: In a historical move to discard the colonial practice of addressing the judges of the high court as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship‘, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association on Thursday passed a resolution asking its members not to address the court using the traditional phrase ‘My Lord’.

In its resolution passed unanimously by around 4500 members strong lawyers association has decided that in future the judges should be addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Your Honour’. The decision was taken in the general house meeting of the bar held in the jam-packed bar room of the high court on Thursday afternoon. With this, the Punjab and Haryana high court has become second high court in the country after Kerala high court advocates Association that had passed such resolution in June 2007 to take such step.

Talking to the development, President of the High Court Bar Association, Kulbir Singh Dhaliwal said that the bar body has unanimously resolved to stop addressing judges as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Lordship’ from Thursday.

Dhaliwal further stated, “We passed the resolution to endorse the already existing rules in this concerned framed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) in 2006 that had resolved that the form of address in the Supreme Court and high courts should be ‘Your Honour’ or ‘Honourable Court’. About the forcibility of the resolution, Dhaliwal added that because of habit, some lawyers may continue to say ‘My Lord’, but gradually they will get used to the new phrase. He also said that bar has received positive response from the judges on this issue.


The BCI – apex body of the lawyers in country had adopted a resolution in April 2006 and added a new Rule 49(1)(j) in the Advocates Act. As per the rule, lawyers can address the court as ‘Your Honour’ and refer to it as ‘Honourable Court’. If it is a subordinate court, lawyers can use terms such as ‘Sir’ or any equivalent phrase in the regional language concerned. Explaining the rationale behind the move, the Bar Council had held that the words such as ‘My Lord’ and ‘Your Lordship’ were “relics of the colonial past”.

The resolution has since been circulated to all state councils and the Supreme Court for adoption but over five years now, the resolution largely remained on paper. However, in an unprecedented move in October 2009, one of the judges of Madras HC, Justice K Chandru had banned lawyers from addressing his court as ‘My lord’ and ‘Your lordship’



  1. Hearty congratulations to the members and managing body of Punjab and Haryana High Court Advocates Bar Association for passing a landmark and bold resolution of addressing the Judges as Your Honour or Honourable Court in view of the recent 2006 amendment to Bar Council of India Rules. The kerala High Court Advocates Association became the first in the country to pass similar resolution in the year 2007 prohibiting the use of honorifics such as My Lord And Your Lordship. That apart justice Chandru of Madras High Court nnd Justice Dr.S. Muralidhar of Delhi high Court have already stopped the Advocates from addressing them as My Lord And Your Lordship in view of the new Rule. Indeed the gesture of the Above Hon’ble Judges is laudable.However as a practicing advocate in A.P. High court and on my own, i have submitted a detailed representation to the A.P.High Court Advocates Bar Association in the month of september 2010 requesting it to pass a similar resolution but the same is pending till now. I hope our Ap High court Advocates Association Will soon become the third one in the country to pass a similar resolution.

  2. Implimentation will be slow process as many of us are used to address in discontinued fashion.


  4. Its not the relic of a colonial past… its a quaint, and harmless practice. Let us continue it. It adds a certain pomp and ceremony to the proceedings.

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