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1.1.6 Naming parliamentarians, courts and judges

(a) General rule

Conventional titles such as “Ms” or “Mr” may be included in the text before a person’s name, but not in citations.

Honorific titles or titles indicating qualifications, such as “Dr”, “Professor” or “the Hon” may also be included in the text. For the conventions surrounding the use of “Hon” for judges, see rule 1.1.6(d)(i). The only prefixed titles that should be included in citations are peerage titles (including when referring to Law Lords) and the courtesy title “Lord” or “Lady” for Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Post-nominal titles such as “QSM” should not be included after the name of the author of a source in either the text or in citations. The titles “QC” and “SC” may be included after the first reference to the author in the text but omitted on subsequent occasions. In accordance with the rules for giving the names of the authors of secondary materials, post-nominal titles should not be used when citing to secondary materials (see for example rule 6.1.2(c)).

(b) Parliamentarians

Refer to Members of Parliament in the following way in the first reference (on subsequent occasions they may be referred to simply by a conventional title and their last name):

Eg Golriz Ghahraman MP (Ms Ghahraman on subsequent references)

Members of Parliament who are, or who were, members of the Executive Council are accorded the honorific “Honourable”. Refer to them in the following way:

Eg Hon Christopher Finlayson MP (Mr Finlayson on subsequent references)

Eg Introducing the Bill into the House, the Minister of Justice, the Hon Simon Power, explained that the purpose of the Bill was to provide consistency and certainty. Mr Power said that the legislation was necessary in light of technological changes.

The Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are granted the title “Right Honourable” for life. Refer to them in the following way:

Eg Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern (Ms Ardern on subsequent references)

Prior to 2000, high-ranking Cabinet Ministers were sometimes appointed as members of the Privy Council. The Privy Council website contains a list of the members of the Privy Council. Members of the Privy Council are also accorded the title “Right Honourable”. Refer to them in the following way:

Eg Rt Hon Helen Clark PC (Ms Clark on subsequent references)

Eg Rt Hon Paul East PC (Mr East on subsequent references)

It may be necessary to note that the person being referred to is no longer a Member of Parliament. This will depend on the context.

(c) Courts

Write court names out in full in the main text. Subsequent references may be made to “the Court”, so long as it is clear which court is being referred to.

Where a court has the same name as another court in a different jurisdiction, state which jurisdiction is being referred to, unless it is clear from the context.

When referring to courts from other jurisdictions, it may be necessary to explain where the court fits in the local judicial hierarchy. For example, the High Court of Australia is Australia’s highest court.

Where the name of a court has changed, it may be useful to state the name of the present equivalent court.

Eg The Supreme Court (now the High Court) decision in …

(d) Judges

(i) New Zealand

The following abbreviations denoting judicial office in New Zealand should be used unless context or style requires otherwise:

All sitting, and former, High Court judges also enjoy the title “Hon”, but it is unnecessary to record this as it is implied in the abbreviation following their name.

If used as a substitute for “the Judge”, the correct spelling is “his Honour” or “her Honour”, not “His Honour” or “Her Honour”.

Eg Miller J

Eg Venning J, Chief High Court Judge, decided this case.

OR Venning J decided this case.

Eg Simon France J held that there was consideration. However, his Honour held that the contract had been frustrated.

District, Employment, Family and Youth Court judges are referred to in the format “Judge Brown” not “Brown DCJ”.

Eg Judge Borrin decided this case. His Honour acquitted the defendant.

The Chief Judge of the Employment Court, the Chief Judge of the District Court, the Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court, the Principal Family Court Judge, the Principal Youth Court Judge and the Principal Environment Judge should be referred to as such.

Eg Chief Judge Inglis

Chief Judge Doogue

Chief Judge Isaac

Principal Judge Ryan

Principal Judge Walker

Principal Judge Newhook

Refer to Associate Judges (formerly known as Masters) of the High Court as such; do not abbreviate their title.

Eg Master Gambrill

Eg Associate Judge Sargisson

Style retired judges who have returned to a court as acting judges as if they are permanent judges of that court. If, however, in an old report, a retired judge who returned as an acting judge was styled differently, follow the style used in that report.

Eg Anderson J (Anderson J sat from time to time as an acting judge of the Supreme Court following his retirement)

Eg Sir Gordon Bisson (Sir Gordon Bisson returned as an occasional judge to the Court of Appeal after retiring in 1992 and appears in reports from that time as “Sir Gordon Bisson”)

It is unnecessary to record that a Court of Appeal or High Court judge is a Queen’s Counsel. However, it is customary to designate a Family, Youth or District Court judge who is also a Queen’s Counsel or Senior Counsel.

Eg Judge Southwick QC

Include the first name of a judge where there are two judges with the same last name presiding in the country at the same time. There are two exceptions to this:

If in doubt, check the Courts of New Zealand website located at

Eg Ellen France J (and not France J, because there is also a Simon France J)

On a second or subsequent reference to a particular judge, he or she may thereafter be referred to either by his or her title as above or as “the Judge”, “his Honour” or “her Honour”. In the case of Heads of Bench, they may also be referred to as “the Chief Justice”, “the President”, “the Chief Judge” or “the Principal Judge”, as the case may be.

(ii) England and Wales

Supreme Court

The Justices of the Supreme Court are referred to as “Lord Sumption SCJ” or “Lady Black SCJ”, or in the plural, “Lord Sumption and Lady Black SCJJ”.

Eg Lord Kerr SCJ, with whom Lord Lloyd-Jones and Lord Wilson SCJJ agreed, upheld the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

The President and Deputy President of the Court have “P” and “DP” after their names.

Eg Lady Hale P

Eg Lord Mance DP

Omit any territorial qualification a judge may have.

Eg Lord Wilson SCJ

NOT Lord Wilson of Culworth SCJ

House of Lords

A House of Lords judge is referred to simply as “Lord Hoffmann” or “Lady Hale”, unless the judge’s rank in the peerage is higher than that of Baron or Baroness in which case the higher rank is used (for example, “Viscount Dilhorne”). There is no plural form of Lord or Lady and no abbreviated form. Omit a Law Lord’s territorial qualification unless the omission might cause ambiguity.

Eg Lord Walker

NOT Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe

Court of Appeal

Court of Appeal judges are referred to as “Lord Justice Hickinbottom” or “Lady Justice Sharp” (“Lords Justices” in the plural), abbreviated to “Sharp LJ” or “Sharp and Hickinbottom LJJ” in the plural. However, where the judge is a peer, they should be referred to simply as “Lord Denning” with no abbreviated form.

The Master of the Rolls may be abbreviated to “Sir Terence Etherton MR” (or if a peer, “Lord Denning MR”).

High Court

The name of a High Court judge may be abbreviated to “Teare J” or, in the case of multiple judges, “Parker and Ouseley JJ”.

The Chancellor of the High Court, formerly known as the Vice-Chancellor (V-C), may be abbreviated to “Sir Geoffrey Vos C”.

The Presidents of the Queen’s Bench Division and Family Division may be abbreviated to “Sir Brian Leveson P” and “Sir James Munby P”.

Lord Chief Justice

The name of the Lord Chief Justice may be abbreviated to “Lord Thomas CJ”.

Lord Chancellor

The name of the Lord Chancellor (now no longer a judge) may be abbreviated to “Baron Hailsham LC”.

Subsequent references to judges of the Supreme Court, House of Lords, Court of Appeal or High Court

On a second or subsequent reference to a particular judge, he or she may thereafter be referred to either by his or her title as above or as “the Judge”, “his Lordship” or “her Ladyship”. Do not use “his Honour” or “her Honour”. In the case of Heads of Bench, they may also be referred to as “the President”, “the Deputy President”, “the Master of the Rolls” or “the Chancellor”, as the case may be.

(iii) Australia and Canada

In some Australian states, appeal court judges are referred to as “Justice of Appeal”, abbreviated to “JA” or “JJA” in the plural. In Canada, appeal court judges are commonly referred to as “Court of Appeal Justices”, abbreviated to “JA” and “JJA” in the plural.

(iv) Other

Reference should be made to the designation used for a judge in the reported version of the case, with unnecessary punctuation removed.

(v) Extrajudicial writing

When referring in the main text to the writings of a sitting judge that are not part of a judgment, the fact that the writing is “extrajudicial” must be recorded, except where it is obvious from the context.

For guidance on citing extrajudicial writings of judges in footnotes, see rule 6.1.2(d).

Eg McGechan J, both in his judgments and in his extrajudicial role as editor of McGechan on Procedure, has made an important contribution to the law of civil procedure in New Zealand.

(vi) Judicial promotion

Where a judge has been promoted or has assumed another judicial or governmental role subsequent to the writing of a judgment, the judge ought to be given the title held at the time of that judgment, unless the office is clear from the context.

It is not generally necessary to state the fact that the judge has been promoted.

Eg Cooke J in Rutherford v Attorney-General

Eg Cooke P in South Pacific Manufacturing

Eg Lord Cooke in Hunter v Canary Wharf Ltd

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