Wednesday 27 August 2014

What do you call a UPC judge?

Unified patent courts (UPCs) will be with our European readers soon, though it's too early to say precisely when. Some lucky person will, when the UPC opens its doors for the first time, become the first human on planet Earth to address a UPC judge face-to-face. This encounter raises a small but intriguing issue: how does one address a IPC judge? Something along the lines of "My Lord" would be grand, and deeply respectful, but is it appropriate for a union of countries of which many have scrapped the trappings of lordship and ladyship. "Your honour" is a possibility too -- but perhaps honour is something that has to be earned rather than accorded in the hope that the addressee may turn out to be a person of honour.  "Your Worship" is definitely a non-runner, and "Your Judgeship" sounds contrived.

Presumably the mode of address will have to sound plausible in whatever language the court operates, and will have to work in terms of gender equality.

Maybe it's time to institute a new word for a UPC judge, just as we had to mint a new word for Europe's most common currency.  Can we come up with something more original than "the Euro", though?  Suggestions?


  1. Question is do we know if there are any British solos (including UK barristers here) on that shortlist of judges that have received a letter following the meeting on 9 July - we can then ask them how they would like to be honoured

  2. How about "Your Unity"?

  3. I understand that the individual letters to the shortlisted judges will be sent out via e-mail by 8 September.

  4. Assuming that they are going to get a decent salary plus monumentally generous expenses, "Your Affluency" might be just about right.