See Reasons Lawyers Put on Wigs in Court— Have you ever wondered why lawyers put on wigs in court? If you are bothered or curious to know the answers to this, then you are in the right place. In this article, I will clearly explain and highlight several of the reasons why lawyers continue to wear wigs to this day.
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Reasons Lawyers Put on Wigs in Court
Consider the reasons why lawyers continue to wear wigs in court. Which countries require barristers to wear wigs and why
The culture of lawyers wearing wigs as part of their courtroom attire developed as a result of the period’s prevalent practices. Essentially, it can be said to have its origins in fashion.
Lawyers were not expected to appear in court with clean, short hair and a beard until the 17th century. Judges’ portraits from the early 1680’s still depicting judges with their natural hair and no wigs. Charles 11, the United Kingdom’s monarch from 1660 to 1685, returned from France and brought with him the fashion of wearing periwigs from Louis xiv’s court; and from then on, English society and barristers adopted the trend.
However, wigs were worn for a variety of other purposes in those days.
Why do attorneys wear wigs?
1. Some people donned wigs to conceal the fact that they were going bald. These individuals were typically affluent, such as Louis xiv, due to the high cost of wigs during that era.
2. There were those who donned wigs to conceal the fact that they had shaved their heads, as lice and other ailments were rampant in those days.
Additionally, wigs progressively fell out of favor throughout George 111’s reign (1760-1820). They were mostly worn by Bishops, Coachmen, and men of the legal profession by the turn of the century.
During this age when wearing wigs became less trendy in society, lawyers and judges felt that wearing wigs sufficiently distinguished or distinguished them from the rest of society, which explains their ongoing interest in wearing wigs.
3. Many judges and lawyers who wear wigs have argued in recent years that they add a sense of formality and solemnity to legal proceedings. According to Kevin Newton, a Washington, DC-based attorney, the above rationale is, in reality, the primary reason for having them (wigs). Others claim that the wig is a symbol of anonymity, a means of distancing the wearer from personal involvement in a case, and also a means of visibly emphasizing the law’s dominance.
In the United Kingdom, however, the tradition of wearing a wig in court was challenged in 2007 in a case presided over by Lord Chief Justice Baron Philips of Worth Matravers. In the case, the chief justice ruled that wigs would no longer be worn in civil or family court. However, wigs and robes are still permitted to be worn during criminal proceedings.
The majority of countries with commonwealth continue to permit the wearing of wigs and gowns in their courts. Nigeria serves as an example. In Nigeria, all lawyers and judges continue to wear wigs during proceedings; however, this varies according to the court. For example, lawyers are not compelled to appear in wigs and gowns in magistrates courts when prosecuting a case. However, other courts, beginning with the high court, demand the full robe of wig and gown.