Do Female Barristers Wear Wigs?
In criminal prosecutions, wigs are still worn, and some attorneys wear them during civil procedures.
Yes, female barristers do wear wigs in some countries. In the United Kingdom, male and female barristers are required to wear wigs in court proceedings. The wig is a traditional part of the barrister’s uniform and symbolizes their status as a member of the legal profession. In other countries, such as the United States, the use of wigs is not as common and is generally only worn by male judges. However, some female barristers may choose to wear a wig in these countries as a matter of personal preference or as a way to show respect for the legal profession. Overall, whether or not a female barrister wears a wig is largely dependent on the country and legal system they practice in.
Why Do British Lawyers Still Wear Wigs?
British lawyers still wear wigs as a part of their formal court attire. The tradition of wearing wigs in the legal profession dates back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when wigs were fashionable among the wealthy. Lawyers adopted wigs as a way to demonstrate their respectability and to distinguish themselves from other members of society. Wigs are still worn by barristers in the United Kingdom, although they are no longer worn by solicitors or judges. The wearing of wigs is not required by law, but it is a long-standing tradition that is still followed by many lawyers in the UK.
High Court Judges
A recent article in the British press reported that barristers in England have stopped wearing wigs, although they may still be required in certain cases. However, there are other lawyers, including criminal judges, who do wear wigs. Wigs are not unique to Britain, as they are also worn in some countries in former British colonies.
The United Kingdom Supreme Court has had advocates without wigs since 2011. A few courts, such as the Scottish Court of Session, have dropped their requirement. The UKSC/JCPC User Group, representing the court’s professional users, pushed for the move.
Other jurisdictions, such as Australia, Canada, and Ireland, have eliminated the need for wigs. For example, the Australian Supreme Court has judged without wigs for several years.
The High Court and County Courts in the United Kingdom have traditionally required barristers and judges to wear wigs and gowns. These regalia are considered an important part of the judicial uniform. Among other things, the robes represent the gravity of the proceedings.
Originally, these regalia were made from black silk. The robes are now plain black, with zippered fronts. They are not required in the summer.
Junior barristers wear a short horsehair wig with ties and curls. They may wear a band instead of a wig. They also wear a blouse with two bands. The sleeves are usually open.
In some jurisdictions, a full-bottomed wig is worn with a matching hood. The hood is a little shorter than the wig. It is worn with a white collar. The hood is a traditional emblem of the high court.
The requirement for advocates to wear wigs has been removed in a few civil and family courts. The UKSC/JCPC User Group proposed the change to the Supreme Court after they received a letter from a lawyer who said he would no longer attend a trial if he was required to wear a wig.
The High Court absorbed the Admiralty in 1846. In 1868, the Chancery Division joined the High Court. Previously, all of these courts had a black silk robe. These robes were worn with bar jackets and jabots.
The first woman to join Middle Temple was Helena Normanton in 1919. Her entry was the first formal entry into the legal profession. The Manchester Dispatch reported on her entry and wrote about every detail of her dress.
British lawyers first used wigs in the 17th century. Traditionally made of horsehair, they covered women’s heads, giving them an appearance almost indistinguishable from men. However, they were not always required in courts of law.
In 2007, a new set of rules abolished the requirement for wigs in all courts except for the Supreme Court. However, wigs remain in use in criminal courts. The UK government has argued that they symbolize respect for the law.
Some critics claim that the practice of wearing wigs makes judges and barristers appear alienating. In addition, they say that it causes witnesses to become uncomfortable. But the practice is accepted by the legal community in Kenya.
The exhibition at the Middle Temple Library includes materials from the inn’s library and many artifacts loaned from the Royal Courts of Justice. It opened during London Fashion Week and ran until July. A pop-up shop will also showcase new court wear for pre-pupils and Bar students.
One of the oldest courts in the Temple is Pump Court. It leads to Inner Temple Hall and Church Court. A second court, Fountain Court, is south of Essex Court.
In 1922, female barristers began wearing ordinary barrister’s wigs. Their wigs became a regular sight at Middle Temple. But it took decades for the wig-wearing women to be seen as equals.
In the 1940s, many younger women at Middle Temple served in uniforms during World War II. They also participated in Civil Defence. In addition, some women were required to protect the Inns of the Court.
After the Great Fire of London in 1666, the building that remains today was rebuilt. Barristers’ chambers now occupy it. Until 1852, Middle Temple was responsible for the education of lawyers.
Throughout the legal profession’s history, wearing wigs in the courtroom has been a tradition. While not all judges wear wigs, they symbolize the legal profession’s elite status.
The earliest wigs worn in the courtroom are those of Louis XIV. He wore them to hide a balding scalp, which was considered a sign of syphilis in the mid-17th century. However, wearing wigs fell out of fashion with the advent of the “powder tax” in 1790.
In the late seventeenth century, wigs became fashionable, representing an emblem of class and sophistication. While wigs are now rarely worn by lawyers in the United Kingdom, they are still worn in the former British colonies.
Some barristers in the UK choose to wear wigs during civil proceedings. Others wear them for special occasions. They may also opt to wear them during criminal trials. They are not required to wear them. They are more common among female barristers.
The Supreme Court has stopped wearing wigs. This is largely due to the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995. It abolished the requirement that barristers and clerks wear wigs in court. This decision has been widely criticized.
Another reason why the UK courts have abandoned wigs is that they are expensive and uncomfortable. The only exception to this rule is the Supreme Court. Its judges must wear a furred scarlet robe. It is more elaborately tailored than its predecessors.
Junior counsel wears a black silk gown with a gathered yoke and open sleeves. In addition, senior counsel wears full-bottomed wigs and bands. These robes have a gold trim on the double ribbon banding.
The practice of wearing wigs has been popular with some of the younger members of the legal community. However, some new generations of African jurists ask why people continue wearing colonizers.
Many countries have altered the dress of their judicial costumes to eliminate the British colonial legacy. For example, Kenya has recently changed its judicial costume to accommodate a post-colonial context.
Court Dress In Malaysia
The Chief Justice governs the courts’ dress code in Malaysia. However, some members of the Malaysian Bar want to change this. Rather than letting traditions slip, they say it’s time to move forward.
The court dress of judges and lawyers varies depending on the type of court. The judges of the High Court, for example, wear formal robes. Other judges, such as the Circuit and District Courts, wear uniforms. The attire is more elaborate on special occasions.
The barrister’s robe, for example, has a triangular chute attached to the left shoulder. It’s not clear why this was invented. Some suggest it was in place of a liripipes, a hollow cloth tassel cut into two lengthways.
The barristers’ ensemble is only worn inside the court building. It includes a coat, waistcoat, and jacket, which may have a jabot and bands.
Advocates’ gowns are optional but not necessary. Junior counsel is called to the Bar in three sittings a year. They wear black gowns and short horsehair wigs with curls. The President’s Counsel and King’s Counsel wear silk gowns. They also have a flap collar.
The barristers’ robes are generally black and gold. The material can be stuff or silk, but it’s not always. The barristers often remove the robes when they leave the court.
The court dress of female barristers in Malaysia is largely traditional. They wear a long black coat, a starched white collar, and a black skirt. They may also wear a traditional sari or dhoti. Some counsels in East Malaysia still wear a wig as part of their court dress.
Other lawyers may opt for a black suit and a white shirt. They may also wear stripes. If they wear stripes, they must not be too prominent. In some courts, they are allowed to wear black ties instead of white bands.
In the Criminal Division, the dress is similar to the KC’s. The coat is black silk with double ribbon banding, colored dark blue with gold trim. The sleeves are long.
Do barristers wear wigs in UK?
Prior to this, the only formal requirements for British lawyers were short hair and neatly groomed beards. Even though wearing wigs is no longer considered fashionable in society, many lawyers nevertheless do.
Do black barristers wear wigs?
Even British barristers no longer wear them because they are so dated and uncomfortable. But judges and attorneys continue to wear them in former British colonies like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Malawi.
Do female judges wear wigs in England?
The court clothing of a British judge may make you feel as though you’ve travelled back in time to the Renaissance, but they aren’t just dressing up in judge wigs and barrister robes for fun. The custom of donning a white wig and robe dates back to the 17th century, and little has altered regarding the attire since then.
Why do UK barristers wear wigs?
Lawyers were expected to show up in court with neat, short hair and beards until the 17th century. Wigs made their debut in a courtroom solely because that is what was being worn outside of it; during the reign of Charles II (1660–1685), wigs were a requirement for dress in polite society.
Do barristers wash their wigs?
The frequency of professional wig cleaning for barristers has been hotly contested. Some sites assert that once every 25 to 30 years is sufficient frequency, but other businesses advise having a wig professionally cleaned at least once a year.