Monday, November 09, 2015

England's Lord Chief Justice Asked to Ditch Wigs, Gowns and Legalese

According to Solicitors Journal, a group called the Criminal Justice Alliance is calling on the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the head of the British judiciary, to review the use of wigs, gowns, and legalese in the Crown Court.

The Crown Court is a criminal court of original and appellate jurisdiction in England and Wales.

The article explains that a recent reported done at Birkbeck University of London found that many court users often felt marginalized by the delays, chaos and scheduling problems.

The wigs and gowns worn by legal professionals were also alienating asd they created a sense of "other-worldliness".

The Birkbeck report is entitled Structured mayhem:Personal experiences of the Crown Court.

Earlier Library Boy posts about British legal fashion oddities include:

  • More Court Changes in the UK (April 7, 2006): "The Judiciary of England and Wales has launched a new website that includes current court rulings, judges' speeches, court reports on legal issues, information on what UK judges do, and quizzes to educate the public on how the UK court system works... And yes, the website even has lots of materials on why UK magistrates have to wear those funny looking wigs."
  • Oh No: UK Judges To Lose Their Wigs! (October 3, 2006): "Apparently, according to The Times, there is lots of pressure from different quarters to get rid of the headgear that goes back to the Restoration Era of the late 17th-century. I say: No, No, No! ... The role of the Brits on this planet is to preserve silly old traditions. Give up the wigs? What's next? Driving on the right side of the road? The tabloids becoming respectable? Edible cuisine? Republicanism? 
  • UK Judges Throw Off Their Wigs (January 6, 2007): "Yesterday, The Guardian reported in an article entitled Civil court judges prepare to cast aside their wigs after 300 years that a consensus seems to have emerged that civil court judges will abandon their head coverings. However, wigs will remain de rigueur fashion in the criminal courts, at least for now ..."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:18 pm


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