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The dresses won in the court room by lawyers and judges comprise the style of clothes prescribed for members of the courts of law. Depending on the country and jurisdiction's traditions, members of the court of law (judges, magistrates, and so on) may wear formal robes, gowns, collars, or wigs.
In some countries and court setting, there may be times when the full formal court dress is not worn (for example trials involving children who might be intimidated by the robes and wigs). The wigs are typically made out of horse hair and can be white, yellow or gray in colour.
What is the name of the wigs our judges have been wearing?
It is called the Tie Wig. The Tie Wig was all the rage in 1700s society. It sported two/three rows of horizontal buckled curls along the sides and back of the head. This was adopted by barristers and has remained much the same ever since. The most popular type of wig worn by Judges is called a bench wig.
Why do Ghanaian Judges still wear wigs?
The wearing of wigs by Judges has been a court tradition for a very long time now. Until the seventeenth century, lawyers were expected to appear in court with clean, short hair and beards. Wigs made their first appearance in a courtroom purely and simply because that's what was being worn outside it; the reign of Charles II (1660-1685) made wigs essential wear for polite society
Judge’s wig, like many other uniforms, are an emblem of anonymity, an attempt to distance the Judge from personal involvement, and a way to visually draw on the supremacy of the law. Many Legal traditionalists, who are still in favour of using court wigs, have argued that, the wigs support a sense of power and the respect for the law.
Another important reason for wearing judicial wigs is also make it difficult for judges to be identified outside the courtroom which can be especially important during criminal cases. Wigs were no longer required during family or civil court appearances, or when appearing before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Wigs, however, remain in use in criminal cases.
In the United Kingdom and on Ireland, judges continued to wear wigs until 2011, when the practice was discontinued.
As the saying “In Africa, the British gave up their last colonies half a century ago, but left their wigs and their English language behind”. Ghana and its sister countries are still in the use of the judicial outfits, and the English language belonging to their colonial masters.
Ghanaians, have in recent times have re-opened the arguments, as to whether it is proper, for Ghanaian Judges to continue wearing the wig, which belongs to their colonial masters (The British)?
For the purpose of collecting some views of Ghanaians, on the wearing of wigs by Ghanaian Judges, a question was put on an online platform: Why do African Judges still wear wigs?
Here are the responses:
Because of mental Slavery: 15 respondents (21.13%).
Because of the symbol of Colonialism: 24 respondents (33.80%).
Both: 32 respondents (45.07%).
Total responses: 71.
What, in your opinion, is the reason why Ghanaian Judges still wear the Judicial Wig?
Please share your views in the comment box below.
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