Wigging Out

With all the constitutional changes and stripping of tradition brought in by Labour Governments since 1997, the latest developments should come as no surprise. The Lord Chief Justice announced today that in all but the criminal court, the wigs and gowns are to be abandoned. The change will also include the ceremonial full-bottomed wigs. Thus ends tradition dating back to the reign of Charles II.

This is more modernisation for the sake of it. There is no real need to turn lawyers into just more men in suits. It seems the wig would make it easier to say “M’lud” to the occupant of the bench.  The costume also creates an atmosphere reflecting the seriousness of the proceedings.

It seems almost pointless that one of the other changes announced is that solicitor-advocates (solicitors who have gained the right of audience in the higher courts) will be allowed to wear the traditional costume of the Bar.  Instead, barristers without their wigs, wing collars and bands will be indistinguishable from the solicitors instructing them in the civil courts.

The change will have a negative economic impact. There are several firms that specialise in making legal wigs. Job losses are expected.

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One Response to Wigging Out

  1. Pingback: WordPress PoliSci Roundup - 12 Jul « oldephartteintraining

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