An electrosurgical instrument, for the treatment of tissue in the presence of an electrically-conductive fluid medium, comprises an instrument shaft, and an electrode assembly at one end of the shaft. The electrode assembly comprises a tissue treatment electrode and a return electrode which is electrically insulated from the tissue treatment electrode by means of an insulation member. The tissue treatment electrode has an exposed end extending laterally through a cut-out provided in the insulation member at the distal end portion of the instrument. The return electrode has a fluid contact surface which overlies the insulation member in the region of the cut-out. The fluid contact surface is spaced from the tissue treatment electrode in such a manner as to define, in use, a conductive fluid path that completes an electrical circuit between the tissue treatment electrode and the return electrode.