July 17, 2007

A Farewell to Wigs

Solicitors in the UK, and the judges they practice before, will no longer wear their traditional wigs and colorful court costumes, at least for civil and family law cases.  Efficient and practical, to be sure, but also kind of sad, if you ask me.  If there’s one thing the British do better than anyone else, it’s pomp and circumstance, and the wigs and the robes and the ceremonies and all the rest were a source of delight for me to learn about over here on this side of the Pond.  Apparently, though, full Stuart-era court dress will be kept for criminal cases, including the nice little detail about the chief judge in a capital case having a triangle of no hair on top of his wig, so that he can don the headsman’s hat if necessary to perform the execution himself.  I wonder how long it will take before the sobriquet “My Lord” addressed to the judge will be replaced with the American equivalent of “Your Honor”?

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