‘Men and women’ could be excluded from Scottish courts, with lawyers urged to use gender neutral terms

Lawyers have urged lawyers to stop calling jurors “ladies and gentlemen” during trials.

They also decided to drop “sir” and “madam” when communicating with the public.

It comes weeks after concerns were expressed over how prominent QCs spoke to jurors during a High Court hearing.

The Law Society of Scotland, the regulator of lawyers, said it has asked lawyers to stop using gender pronouns.



One of Scotland’s foremost lawyers, Brian McConnachie QC, said it was a sign of the times.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service – responsible for running the country’s courts – said language changes were under consideration.

Over 20,000 people in Scotland define themselves as neither male nor female.

Senior Defense Counsel Brian McConnachie QC said: “Without a doubt in 10 years no one will remember we used to say ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ or whatever. .



Renowned lawyer Aamer Anwar says this brings the legal profession into the 21st century.

“This is the way it is and I guess the bar and the courts have to adapt to the way things are these days.”

Lawyer Aamer Anwar said: “This is another step towards the entry of the legal profession into the 21st century.”

A spokesperson for the Law Society said: “We would advise our members to use inclusive language, whether in court, in the office or in written communication.”

A spokesperson for SCTS said: “The use of pronouns is currently being considered as part of our equality strategy.

But Marion Calder, director of the women’s rights charity For Women Scotland, said: “This is absolute madness and could cause unnecessary offense.

“The Law Society and the Scottish Courts Service risk getting lost in a forced speech.”

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