LegalReader.com  ·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

British Lawyers Build Case Against Wigs


— April 4, 2006

LONDON — Lawyer John Baldwin stood in Courtroom 61 of the Royal Courts of Justice last week, holding his curly white wig in his hands.

“Some people think it gives them more authority,” Baldwin said of his traditional horsehair headpiece, which trial lawyers are required to wear in British courtrooms. “But most of us just think they’re itchy.”

The wigs are drawing increasing criticism from lawyers who say they are as quaint and outdated as quill pens or suits of armor. As the country’s legal system undergoes a raft of changes — including the creation of a Supreme Court modeled after the U.S. high court — the call to cast off wigs is growing louder in courtroom hallways and lawyers’ chambers.

“It is an ancient practice that many of us don’t think has a place in the modern world,” said Kevin Martin, president of the Law Society, a national group representing 120,000 lawyers. Martin said he was hopeful that change is near because the judiciary has a new leader, Nicholas Phillips, who is considered a modernizer not wedded to the 17th-century adornments.

Details here from The Washington Post. (via Law Blog)


LONDON — Lawyer John Baldwin stood in Courtroom 61 of the Royal Courts of Justice last week, holding his curly white wig in his hands.

“Some people think it gives them more authority,” Baldwin said of his traditional horsehair headpiece, which trial lawyers are required to wear in British courtrooms. “But most of us just think they’re itchy.”

The wigs are drawing increasing criticism from lawyers who say they are as quaint and outdated as quill pens or suits of armor. As the country’s legal system undergoes a raft of changes — including the creation of a Supreme Court modeled after the U.S. high court — the call to cast off wigs is growing louder in courtroom hallways and lawyers’ chambers.

“It is an ancient practice that many of us don’t think has a place in the modern world,” said Kevin Martin, president of the Law Society, a national group representing 120,000 lawyers. Martin said he was hopeful that change is near because the judiciary has a new leader, Nicholas Phillips, who is considered a modernizer not wedded to the 17th-century adornments.

Details here from The Washington Post. (via Law Blog)

Join the conversation!