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New rule in effect at Magistrates’ Courts

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Lawyers, prisoners, police officers and other persons who come before Magistrates in the Magistrates’ Court, will now have to address them as “Your honour” instead of “Your worship”.{{more}}

This new rule is part of a continuation of efforts in having the magistracy fully incorporated into the judiciary.

This was mentioned on Tuesday, by newly recently appointed Chief Justice Janice Perreira.

According to Perreira, over the past year, the court’s main focus has been the procurement of funds for the completion of the main programme of events leading to the greater integration of the magistracy into the judiciary.

She mentioned that a practice note entitled “Magistrates’ style and title and dress in court” was issued by her predecessor, Sir Hugh Rawlins.

“The purpose of it is to change the form of address of the magistrates, with the intention of promoting uniformity in the Supreme Court in the style and title of magistrates… it also permits magistrates to wear robes when they preside in court and other official functions…,” Perreira explained.

The practice law, she said, had come into effect on September 1, 2012.

She remarked that even if it is a “small step”, it is momentous and one step closer to the full integration of the magistracy.(KW)

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