Judge asks murder trial jury if it’s okay to call them ‘ladies and gentlemen’ so as not to upset non-binary people
A judge asked jurors in a murder trial if addressing them as “ladies and gentlemen” would upset anyone while trying to avoid excluding non-binary people.
Mr Justice Eyre asked the jury if they felt his use of the phrase was too ‘traditional, offensive or exclusive’ at the start of a trial at Mold Crown Court in North Wales, according to The Telegraph.
His concern comes after new guidelines require judges to consider the feelings of everyone – including criminals – when addressing them in court.
Stephen John Arthur Eyre was called to the Bar in 1981 and obtained a Silk in 2015
The members of the court are urged to treat all users of the court “respectfully” and to consider how their “words and behavior can affect others,” according to the Courts and Judiciary.
After opening the process by saying ‘ladies and gentlemen’, Mr Justice Eyre reportedly said: ‘I know not everyone takes that position. Some people find it old-fashioned or offensive, or exclude people who don’t identify as binary.
“If any of you would prefer me to address you as members of the jury, and not as ladies and gentlemen, please let me know and I’ll switch.”