Summary: Replies about me wearing a barrister’s wig and gown.
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ohumyes replied to your post: I believe I remember that you’re a barrister. Does this mean that, when you’re in court, you wear robes and a wig? Because that’s marvelous.
Why do they have that tradition anyway?
I’m not really sure. I think if you go back far enough it was just, like, what people wore. And then for some reasons they forgot to stop wearing it after everyone else stopped. And there are things about the gown, like supposedly there was a tradition that barristers didn’t deal with vulgar things like money so the gowns had little hood things hanging down the back and solicitors (who sit behind the barristers) would drop the fee into the hood. But nowadays the hood is just a flat piece of funny-shaped fabric on one side of the gown.
They had a consultation recently about whether to get rid of wigs (which are now only generally worn in the criminal and appellate courts) but a majority of barristers wanted to keep them. Common arguments are that they give a measure of anonymity (for barristers who annoy people in court) or homogeneity (to go with the idea that barristers are all basically interchangeable, which is also embodied in the ‘cab rank rule’, which is the rule that a barrister is obliged to accept any case that they’re competent and available to do, regardless of whether they like it or believe in the client’s case), that clients see them on television and therefore expect them and feel short-changed if they don’t get them, and maybe some other ones I’ve forgotten. The anonymity one sounds silly but actually when you’ve only ever seen a barrister in a wig they do look quite different without it. And when you’ve been in court all day and everyone’s been in wigs and then you go outside and see the same people without their wigs it seems weirdly improper and almost indecent — ‘That person has a hairstyle! Expressive of their individuality and style! Disgraceful!’
I dunno, it’s odd and silly.
torayot replied to your post: I believe I remember that you’re a barrister. Does this mean that, when you’re in court, you wear robes and a wig? Because that’s marvelous.
I’ve seen said pictures of Jamie in robes and a wig. I laughed nastily at it in front of him and his mother, because I am charming and delightful. Also, fun fact: the same company that supplies the wigs and robes also did my graduation gown and hat.
Yeah, they specialize in odd archaic costumes like academic gowns and court dress.
aeide-thea replied to your post: I believe I remember that you’re a barrister. Does this mean that, when you’re in court, you wear robes and a wig? Because that’s marvelous.
pish, i bet it was madly charming. i mean, probably also silly! but as my partner has taught me, the two are often not mutually exclusive. :)
+10 points for use of ‘pish’.