Wigless judges/Richter verzichten auf Perücke

From October this year, judges in civil cases in England, including family cases, will be wearing no wigs and new robes by the fashion designer Betty Jackson.

Barristers and criminal-law judges will be keeping their wigs. Some say it makes it harder for villains to recognize them.

At present, the judges wear several different types of robe on different occasions.

The new robes dispense with wing collars and bands. The collar looks a bit like a dressing-gown (bathrobe to some). The exciting bit is two coloured stripes below the collar, recalling the different colours and styles of traditional robes.

The Times reports:

The gown is made of a dark navy gaberdine and wool mix, trimmed with velvet on the cuffs and facings. The version for women has a pleated white removable ruff.

Coloured bands incorporated in the outfit are a nod to tradition and denote seniority. There is gold for the Court of Appeal judges and heads of High Court divisions; red for the High Court judges; lilac for circuit judges when they sit as deputy High Court judges; blue for the district judges. The colour for masters and registrars has yet to be decided.

The gown is described as a simple continental-style gown.

Lord Phillips only modelled the men’s version. Why do women get some white?

Photos also in the Telegraph, Guardian

9 thoughts on “Wigless judges/Richter verzichten auf Perücke

  1. From an American perspective, I thought the audience was a English and Commonwealth one but the brochure also conveys the notion that the audience is intended to be the broadest English-speaking one conceivable. That may include non-native English speakers.

    Having finished, over the summer, a chapter descibing German law for the broadest English-speaking readership of a new book, I can feel the pain the authors or translators experienced with this document.

    Substantively, whatever you write can land you in hot water with one or another segment of the audience. I think the authors have adopted interesting perspectives. American readers will likely quivel less with the terminology chosen. They may also consider the SNL-style picture of the Attorney General less professional than what they are used to.

    • I am sure the main audience are non-native speakers of English. At the same time, they will try to write British English, even down to the -ise spelling that the EU English style guide likes (it’s a majority spelling in the UK, but -ize is also permitted and would make sense for an international readership).

      In view of the aim of increasing the international use of German law – often in English (see the contract clauses in English offered at the end) – I wonder what brief they gave the translators. I’m sure a lot of use of German law would be in other languages, but they must envisage a lot between nationalities being in English too. Maybe they will be recommending terminology soon (as in the Netherlands)!

      Interesting that the photo appears not very professional. I am sure the intention was to be relaxed and international!

  2. I have doubts too about “Continental European law”. Civil Law isn’t confined to Continental Europe. And no geographical description is going to make the substantive meaning any more transparent.

    What are the objections to public limited company for AG?

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