The job of our courts to is to deliver justice. In achieving that aim the courts must be accessible, people must have confidence in them and court users in particular must feel as comfortable as possible when attending court. By "court users", I am referring to those people for whom the courts are not a commonplace experience - the victims of crime, witnesses, jurors and defendants in the criminal courts, as well as claimants (formerly known as plaintiffs) and defendants in the civil courts.
Let me make it clear that on the question of court working dress I shall, of course, have regard for the views of the professionals (the judiciary, lawyers and court staff) who operate the courts, but I am particularly keen to hear the views of court users and the general public. Should it be established through this consultation paper that court users' confidence can be enhanced by changes to court working dress, that will be a compelling argument for change.
What professionals wear in courts in England and Wales was last the subject of public consultation in August 1992 [Endnote 1] when a clear majority of respondents were in favour of retaining the current form of working dress.
In July 2002 I announced in the Government's response [Endnote 2] to Lord Justice Auld's report, Review of the Criminal Court in England and Wales [Endnote 3] that I would undertake a wide-ranging public opinion survey on the subject of court working dress. This has been done. My reason for commissioning the survey was to gather information on the public's views on court working dress as the starting point for this public consultation exercise.
The survey, Public Perceptions of Working Court Dress in England and Wales (ORC International, October 2002), involving in-street interviews with 1571 members of the public and 506 court users throughout England and Wales, was completed in October and the results have been incorporated into this consultation paper. The survey's key finding was strong support for some modification of court dress, with more than 60% of respondents believing that current dress should be changed in one form or another.
The issue at stake here is far more important than the mere wearing of wigs. Society has moved apace in the decade since the last consultation exercise was undertaken and I believe it is necessary for a fresh, balanced view to be taken on how comfortable non-professional court users are in a modern civil or criminal court environment.
So I need to establish the extent to which court working dress impacts on public confidence, on court users and on the wider public esteem in which our courts are held, either positively or otherwise. To that end I am hopeful this consultation paper will encourage as high, if not higher, a response rate from members of the public as from the legal professionals.
After considering the responses to this consultation paper I shall, if necessary, and in my capacity as Head of the Judiciary in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, make any necessary adjustments to court working dress in England and Wales.
Irvine of Lairg
Printed copies of this consultation paper are available from all courts in England and Wales; an electronic version is available on the Lord Chancellor's Department's website (www.lcd.gov.uk).
The period of consultation will last 14 weeks, closing on 14 August 2003.
Questionnaire - You will find a questionnaire attached to this paper. You may return it to us in one of three ways:
Ideally we would be grateful if you would complete it electronically and e-mail it directly to us; or
Please complete the questionnaire by hand and post it to:
Court Working Dress Consultation
Lord Chancellor's Department
54-60 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QW
Fax: 020-7210 8633
For printed copies of the consultation paper please contact Victoria Children (tel: 020–7210 1349; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Department will publish a response to this consultation paper in due
course. Please ensure your response is marked clearly if you wish your
response to be kept confidential - or if you do not wish to be identified
as a respondent. However, the substance of confidential responses will
be included in any summary of comments received.
The aim of this consultation paper is to canvass the views of as wide a range as possible of people in England and Wales about the working dress worn in criminal and civil courts in England and Wales by judges, barristers and other advocates, solicitors, court clerks and court ushers.
It does not cover ceremonial dress, nor is it concerned with magistrates' courts, as no formal court dress is worn in these courts. Neither is it concerned with Parliamentary robes or the formal dress worn by officers of the two Houses of Parliament; nor with the dress of civic dignitaries and officers in the service of local government, even where the dress in question is of a legal character, for example a barrister's wig, bands and gown.
The consultation is being conducted in line with the Code of Practice on Written Consultation issued by the Cabinet Office, as set out in the General Principles of Consultation section of this paper. As the outcome will not lead to additional costs or savings for businesses, charities or the voluntary sector, a Regulatory Impact Assessment has not been completed.
Copies of this consultation paper have been sent to the following organisations (the list is not prescriptive - comments are welcome from any group or individual with a view on the subject):
Association of District Judges
Council of Her Majesty's Circuit Judges
Administrative Law Bar Association
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Association of Women Barristers
Chancery Bar Association
Commercial Bar Association
Family Bar Association
Institute of Barristers' Clerks
Institute of Legal Executives
Justices' Clerks' Society
Legal Aid Practitioners' Group
Society for Black Lawyers
Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates
Solicitors' Criminal Law Association
Solicitors' Family Law Association
Young Barristers' Committee
Young Solicitors' Committee
Attorney General's Chambers
Cabinet Secretary's Office
Crown Prosecution Service
Health and Safety Executive
HM Customs & Excise
Judicial Studies Board
Legal Services Ombudsman
National Audit Office
Serious Fraud Office
Treasury Solicitor's Department
Association of Chief Officers of Probation
Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Association of Police Authorities
Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales
Advice Services Association
Civil Courts Users' Association
Federation of Law Centres
Howard League for Penal Reform
Jill Dando Institute
Legal Action Group
Litigants in Person Society
National Association of Citizen's Advice Bureaux
National Consumer Council
National Council for Civil Liberties
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Rape Crisis Federation Wales and England
Rights of Women
Women's National Commission
Terminology can be confusing when referring to "court dress". The standard meaning of court dress is the ceremonial clothing worn by officers of state and other dignitaries on royal and state occasions. This paper is not concerned with court dress in that sense.
The paper focuses on the working dress worn in the higher criminal and civil courts in England and Wales by judges, barristers and other advocates, solicitors, court clerks and court ushers. It does not cover the magistrates' courts, where suits or similar are worn by all, nor ceremonial dress.
Following the 1992 consultation exercise referred to by the Lord Chancellor in his foreword, the subject was again revisited in 1994 when solicitors were granted the right to speak (advocacy rights or, more formally, "rights of audience") in the higher courts. This time the question at issue was whether the solicitor advocates should be allowed to wear wigs in court in a similar fashion to barristers. After consultation between the then Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the other judicial Heads of Division it was concluded, in line with the public's view, that there should be no change.
The wearing of court dress is currently governed by a 1995 Lord Chancellor's Practice Direction [Endnote 4] which was varied by another Practice Direction in 1998 to take into account the granting of advocacy rights to members of the Institute of Legal Executives (see Annex C). The practice direction also made minor variation to the court dress of other advocates:
The requirements of Practice Direction (Court Dress)  1 W.L.R. 1056 of 19 July 1994 are therefore varied as follows: Queen's Counsel wear a short wig and silk (or stuff) gown over a court coat; junior counsel wear a short wig and stuff gown with bands; solicitors and other advocates authorised under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 wear a black stuff gown and bands, but no wig.
Most recently, following representations to the Attorney General, the Lord Chief Justice raised the issue of parity of court dress between barristers and solicitor advocates at a meeting of the Judges' Council in April 2001. As a result of that discussion the Lord Chief Justice wrote to the Law Society and the General Council of the Bar, seeking their views. The majority view of the Bar was that the wearing of wigs should be retained for both criminal and civil proceedings, although by a much smaller majority in the case of civil proceedings. The Law Society responded in favour of the abolition of wigs, or that solicitor advocates should be allowed parity of dress with barristers.
The Lord Chief Justice continued to explore the issue with his judicial colleagues and following further discussion at a meeting of the Judges' Council, which suggested substantial support for dispensing with wigs in civil cases, decided to consult further with the professional bodies and other interested parties, e.g. the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates. The response has been mixed.
In his Review of Criminal Courts in England and Wales [Endnote 5], Lord Justice Auld reported:
I have received many submissions about the court dress of judges and advocates, suggesting variously its retention or modification or abolition. The interesting feature of the different options is that each has a broad mix of support from a wide range of persons involved in the trial process. Many judges want to retain wigs and gowns, but many do not. The same division of views applies to jurors, witnesses and past defendants. However, most of the members of the Bar and solicitors who have expressed a view on the subject tend to favour retention of some special court dress, the latter making a strong case that solicitor-advocates in the higher courts should wear the same as the Bar.
Some people feel perfectly at home in court, others far less so, and although the courts are open to everyone and we are all equal before the law, people are there for very different reasons. In the everyday environs of our courts - both criminal and civil - the professionals, the judges, lawyers and court staff are providing a service to the court users: the victims, witnesses, defendants, and claimants. Jurors also provide a service, mainly in the criminal jurisdictions.
There is no justification for retaining working court dress on the grounds of tradition alone - our courts are not a tourist attraction. A court is a serious place of work where the outcomes of the matters under consideration by legal professionals and lay jurors alike often have a massive impact on the lives of court users and, at times, society as a whole.
In no particular order, it is thought that court dress:
symbolises the authority of office holders;
helps instil a respect for the law;
reminds the legal professionals that theirs is a solemn role;
emphasises the impersonal and disinterested approach of the judge;
helps court users identify who's who; and
the wigs provide a degree of security to the wearers, through anonymity, especially to judges in criminal cases.
However, we need to know that court dress does have these effects, because it could equally:
intimidate victims and witnesses, especially the young and the vulnerable;
encourage self-importance in legal professionals and direct attention to petty details e.g. who wears what; and
provoke derision at the legal system as outdated and backward looking.
In advance of this consultation paper, the Lord Chancellor commissioned a national public opinion survey, Public Perceptions of Working Court Dress in England and Wales (ORC International, October 2002), on court working dress in England and Wales.
As the Lord Chancellor makes clear in his foreword he will have regard to the views of the professionals who operate the courts on behalf of the court users (the judiciary, lawyers and court staff ), but he is particularly keen to hear the views of courts users and the general public.
The survey involved in-street interviews throughout England and Wales during October 2002 with 1,571 members of the general public who had not used the courts in England and Wales and 506 who had. Individuals were presented with sets of photographs depicting three options for working court dress for each court professional (Option A consistently being current dress) - see Annex D. Respondents were asked to select their preferred dress option, together with their reasons, for each. Two discussion or focus groups informed design of the questionnaire, where the issue of court dress was examined in detail.
The key finding was strong support for reform of court dress overall.
For each type of court professional, more than 50% of respondents felt that current dress should be changed. The share of all 2,077 respondents who felt that current dress should be changed in one form or another was as follows:
53% for judges in criminal proceedings
64% for judges in civil proceedings
61% for barristers
81% for court clerks
63% of court ushers
However, there was split opinion in terms of the preferred option for change. In most instances, the share of people stating either option, in preference to the status quo, was relatively equal.
|Figure 1: Preferred options for court dress (all 2,077 respondents)|
(see photos at Annex D)
|Option B||Option C|
|Judges hearing criminal cases||Wig and coloured robes
||Wig and black gown||Black gown|
|Judges hearing civil cases||Wig and black gown||Black gown||Suit|
|Barristers /advocates||Wig and black gown||Black gown||Suit|
|Court Ushers||Black gown||Suit||n/a|
|Court Clerks||Wig and black gown||Black gown||Suit|
With reference to Figure 1 above, of those who selected Option A
(retention of current court working dress) the differences between
those who had not been court users and those who had been court users were
(base = 1,571 respondents)
(base = 506 respondents)
|Undecided or no view
(base = 2,077 respondents)
|Judges in criminal hearings||40%
|Judges in civil hearings||31%||30%||4%|
|Barristers or advocates||33%||37%||4%|
Wigs emerged as the symbolic feature of current court dress, and central to any debate about change. Respondents' views on the appropriateness of the wig were informed by a relative assessment of the status of who wears them - with judges and barristers considered more important (and therefore more 'worthy' of a wig) than ushers and clerks.
With regards to Figure 1 above, support for retention of a wig differed according to the type of court professional:
|for:||% of all respondents (2,077) who wish to retain wig|
|Judges in criminal hearings||68%|
|Judges in civil hearings||31%|
|Barristers or advocates||34%|
The survey also aimed to gauge whether or not there was general support for change to working court dress. It asked respondents to rate how modern or traditional they felt court dress was, as it currently stands.
Respondents were then asked to rate how modern or traditional - on a 7-point scale, where 1 is traditional and 7 is modern - they would like the clothes worn in court to be, using the same scale (see Table 1 below).
|How you would like court dress to be?||19||9||11||16||17||14||14|
|Base = all respondents (2,077)|
Overall, the average rating given for current dress was 1.9 indicating that most people perceived current dress as traditional. The average rating given for how respondents would like the clothes worn to be was 4 exactly half way between traditional and modern (Figure 2 below). There was no difference between court users and general public.
Although the survey's findings will be taken into account by the Lord Chancellor in deciding the case for reform of court working dress, the outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion: the responses to this consultation paper will also carry weight in his decision-making process.
We have adopted a structured questionnaire as the most suitable method of establishing people's views on the subject of court working dress. This format will provide us with an empirical response to the questions. You are, of course, welcome to send us any supplementary views you may have attached to your completed questionnaire.
Court users must have confidence in our court systems and to that end we need to establish how comfortable they are in the civil or criminal court environments. We have therefore attempted to simplify our questions and have kept their scope relatively broad.
We want to know how you relate to what is worn in our courts. We do not want to get lost in the minutiae of this complex subject. We must retain a focus on the question:
"Is court working dress, as worn in the courts of England and Wales, suitable for the task?"
This is why we are very keen to seek the views of court users on how they regard the images of our judges, lawyers and court staff in both criminal and civil jurisdictions.
If you have any complaints or comments about the consultation process, you should contact the Lord Chancellor's Department's consultation co-ordinator, Laurence Fiddler, on 020-7210 8516 or email him at email@example.com. Alternatively, you may wish to write to the address below:
Lord Chancellor's Department
54-60 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QW
The criteria in the Code of Practice on Written Consultation issued by the Cabinet Office is as follows:
Timing of consultation should be built into the planning process for a policy or service from the start, so that it has the best prospect of improving the proposals concerned, and so that sufficient time is left for it at each stage.
It should be clear who is being consulted, about what questions, in what timescale and for what purpose.
A consultation document should be as simple and concise as possible. It should include a summary, in two pages at most, of the main questions it seeks views on. It should make it as easy as possible for readers to respond, make contact or complain.
Documents should be made widely available, with the fullest use of electronic means (though not to the exclusion of others), and effectively drawn to the attention of all interested groups and individuals.
Sufficient time should be allowed for considered responses from all groups with an interest. Twelve weeks should be the standard minimum period for a consultation.
Responses should be carefully and open-mindedly analysed, and the results made widely available, with an account of the views expressed, and reasons for decisions finally taken.
Departments should monitor and evaluate consultations, designating a consultation co-ordinator who will ensure the lessons are disseminated.
The court working dress worn by the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the President of the Family Division and the Vice-Chancellor, and Lords Justices of Appeal, comprises a court coat and waistcoat (or a sleeved waistcoat) worn with skirt or trousers and bands, a black silk gown and a short wig.
The court dress worn by High Court judges dealing with business in the Chancery and Family Divisions is simple: a court coat and waistcoat worn with bands and a skirt or trousers beneath a black silk gown, and a short wig. Much of the business in the Family Division is in Chambers (a private room) where court dress is not worn.
The dress of High Court judges dealing with Queen's Bench work is more complex.
When sitting in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), High Court judges, like other members of the Court of Appeal, wear the black silk gown and a short wig, as they do in the Divisional Court.
When dealing with criminal business at first instance in the winter, a High Court judge wears the scarlet robe of the ceremonial dress but without the scarlet cloth and fur mantle. The costume also includes a black scarf and girdle and a scarlet casting-hood or tippet.
When dealing with criminal business in the summer, the judge wears a similar scarlet robe, but with silk rather than fur facings.
A Queen's Bench judge trying civil cases in winter wears a black robe faced with fur, a black scarf and girdle and a scarlet tippet; in summer, a violet robe faced with silk, with the black scarf and girdle and scarlet tippet.
On Red Letter days (which include the Sovereign's birthday and certain saints' days) all judges wear the scarlet robe for the appropriate season. In all cases a short wig is worn and, beneath the robe, ordinary day dress.
The court working dress of the Circuit judge comprises bands worn over a violet robe with lilac facings and a short wig. As well as a girdle, the judge wears a tippet (sash) over the left shoulder - lilac when dealing with civil business and red when dealing with crime. Ordinary day dress is worn beneath the robe.
On some occasions and in certain courts Circuit judges do not wear the violet robe but the short wig and black silk gown over a court coat and/or waistcoat. This is worn by Circuit judges sitting to deal with certain types of High Court business, by Official Referees and by judges at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in London.
Recorders, who sit part-time, wear a black coat with bands and a QC's or junior barrister's gown and the short wig.
Much of the work of a District judge is done wearing a suit. However a District judge sitting in open court wears a short wig and a black gown over ordinary dark clothing.
Suits or other appropriate form of dress is worn in these proceedings.
Different forms of dress are worn by Queen's Counsel (QCs), junior barristers and solicitor advocates:
Queen's Counsel - The court working dress of a Queen's Counsel is the short barrister's wig and black gown worn over a court coat and ordinary trousers or skirt.
Junior Barristers - Court working dress for junior barristers comprises a short barrister's wig and black gown worn over a suit, with bands.
Solicitor or Institute of Legal Executive Advocates - Court working dress for a solicitor advocate is a black gown, with bands, worn over a suit. No wig is worn.
In county courts court officers wear suits or other suitable attire:
Court Clerks - In the Crown Court, which sits in 91 centres in England and Wales, a court clerk sitting with a High Court judge wears normal dark clothing with a wing collar and bands or, in the case of women, a collarette, together with a wig and gown. A court clerk sitting with a Circuit judge or a recorder is similarly dressed, save that no wig is worn.
Court Usher - A court usher wears a black gown over normal clothing.
The Court of Appeal is divided into two Divisions, criminal and civil. Its courtrooms and offices are situated in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The judges of the Court of Appeal are the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and 36 Lords Justices. The President of the Family Division and the Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Division also sit there for part of their time.
The Criminal Division, presided over by the Lord Chief Justice and the Vice-President of the Criminal Division, hears appeals in criminal matters from the Crown Court. Courts are constituted from the Lord Chief Justice, Vice-President and Lords Justices assisted by High Court judges as required.
The Civil Division, presided over by the Master of the Rolls, hears appeals mainly against decisions of the High Court and county courts and also of tribunals and certain other courts such as, for example, the Patents Court. In the Civil Division, courts of two or three judges are normally constituted from the Master of the Rolls and the Lords Justices.
In England and Wales civil justice is administered mainly by the county courts and the High Court, the latter handling the more substantial and complex cases.
The Chancery Division of the High Court comprises the Lord Chancellor, the Vice- Chancellor (its Head for practical purposes) and 17 High Court judges. Although there is some overlap with the Queen's Bench Division, certain matters are specifically assigned to the Chancery Division. Principal business of the Division comprises corporate and personal insolvency disputes, business, trade and industry disputes, the enforcement of mortgages, intellectual property matters, copyright and patents, disputes relating to trust property and contentious probate actions.
Most chancery business is dealt with in the Royal Courts of Justice in London and in eight provincial High Court centres which have Chancery jurisdiction.
Queen's Bench Division
The Queen's Bench Division deals mainly with civil actions in contract and tort (civil wrongs) and also hears more specialist matters, such as applications for judicial review. At the end of 2002 the Queen's Bench Division comprised the Lord Chief Justice (its President) and 73 High Court judges.
It contains within it the Commercial Court and the Admiralty Court (dealing with shipping matters such as collision and damage to cargo) and administers the Technology and Construction Court (formerly the Official Referees Court) which hear cases involving prolonged examination of technical issues, such as construction disputes. Judges of the Queen's Bench Division also hear the most important criminal cases in the Crown Court and they also sit in the Restrictive Practices Court and Employment Appeals Tribunal.
Queen's Bench Division work is dealt with at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and at district registries of the High Court, located at many of the county courts throughout England and Wales. Each registry covers a defined district consisting of one or more county court districts.
Since 1 July 1991 county courts can deal with all contract and tort cases and recovery of land actions, regardless of value. In addition, all county courts deal with the following types of proceedings:
certain equity and contested probate actions (for example, actions concerning an alleged breach of trust obligation by a trustee or questions concerning the administration of a will) where the value of the trust, fund or estate does not exceed £30,000
any action which all parties agree to have heard in a county court (eg defamation cases).
Some courts also hear:
bankruptcy and insolvency matters
matters under the Race Relations Act 1976
Other than at the smallest courts, each county court is assigned at least one circuit judge and one district judge. Circuit judges generally hear cases worth over £15,000, or those involving greater importance or complexity. Claims between £5,000 and £15,000 are tried by either circuit or district judges. District judges hear small claims (in most instances, these are claims under £5,000), repossession claims and the assessment of damage awards in uncontested cases. District judges also case manage most of the cases proceeding in the county courts.
Family matters are dealt with in the Family Division of the High Court, in county courts and, with the exception of divorce proceedings, in family proceedings courts (those parts of magistrates' courts having a family jurisdiction).
Most matters affecting children are dealt with under the Children Act 1989 in all three levels of courts.
Contentious probate matters are dealt with in the Chancery Division of the High Court.
There is only one Crown Court (known as a 'unitary court'). It sits at 91 centres throughout England and Wales.
It is the only court which has jurisdiction to hear criminal trials on indictment and it also exercises the appellate and other jurisdictions which had been exercised, prior to its establishment in 1972, by Quarter Sessions.
Court centres are of three kinds:
First-tier centres are those visited by High Court judges for Crown Court work, and also for High Court civil business.
Second-tier centres are those visited by High Court judges for Crown Court business, but not for civil business.
Third-tier centres are those not normally visited by High Court judges at all. Circuit judges and recorders may sit at all three classes of centre to deal with Crown Court cases.
1. Notwithstanding extensions to rights of audience under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, there having been no change to the rule concerning court dress, the current practice governing the dress requirements for advocates appearing in the Supreme Court, and in county courts, continues to apply.
2. Queen's Counsel wear a short wig and a silk (or stuff) gown over a court coat. Junior counsel wear a short wig and stuff gown with bands. Solicitors wear a black stuff gown with bands but no wig.
3. This direction is made by the Lord Chancellor with the concurrence of the Heads of Division. The Lord Chancellor proposes to consult further with a view to reaching a long-term decision.
Mackay of Clashfern LC
11 July 1994
1. Following Practice Direction (Court Dress)  1 W.L.R. 1056, views were sought from organisations and individuals closely concerned with the working of the courts on the dress appropriate for advocates in the light of extensions to rights of audience under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.
2. As with the wider consultation undertaken in August 1992, there was no consensus among those individuals and organisations who responded. But, while most of those who responded previously favoured the retention of existing court dress (including wigs), a majority on this occasion wanted the wearing of wigs to be discontinued, if not immediately then in the future. It is also relevant that solicitors appearing as advocates traditionally have not worn wigs in courts in Scotland, in county courts, or in those Crown Courts (and previously quarter sessions) in which they have traditionally enjoyed rights of audience.
3. Against this background the Lord Chancellor, having consulted the Heads of Divisions, has concluded that the practice of wearing wigs should not be extended. The requirements of Practice Direction (Court Dress)  1 W.L.R. 1056 are therefore re-affirmed: Queen's Counsel wear a short wig and a silk (or stuff) gown over a court coat; junior counsel wear a short wig and stuff gown with bands; solicitors wear a black stuff gown with bands but no wig.
4. The rules and practice concerning court dress will be kept under review.
5. This direction is made by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the Heads of Divisions and applied throughout the Supreme Court (including the Crown Court), and in county courts.
Mackay of Clashfern LC
11 April 1995
1. On 23 April 1998 the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) became an authorised body under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 for the purpose of granting rights of audience to its members. Having consulted the Heads of Divisions and ILEX, the Lord Chancellor has decided that it would be appropriate for members of ILEX who are authorised advocates under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 to wear court dress when appearing in open court in circumstances in which counsel or solicitors appearing as advocates wear court dress.
2. The Lord Chancellor has also decided to take this opportunity to provide for advocates who may be granted rights of audience by any future bodies authorised for this purpose under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. The Lord Chancellor has decided that it would not be appropriate to extend the wearing of wigs.
3. The requirements of Practice Direction (Court Dress)  1 W.L.R. 1056 of 19 July 1994 are therefore varied as follows: Queen's Counsel wear a short wig and silk (or stuff) gown over a court coat; junior counsel wear a short wig and stuff gown with bands; solicitors and other advocates authorised under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 wear a black stuff gown and bands, but no wig.
4. This Direction is made by the Lord Chancellor with the concurrence of the Heads of Divisions and applies throughout the Supreme Court (including the Crown Court) and in county courts.
Irvine of Lairg LC
25 November 1998
Court Dress: a consultation paper issued on behalf of the Lord Chancellor and The Lord Chief Justice - LCD, August 1992. The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice announced on 30 September 1993 that no changes would be made to court dress as a result of the consultation exercise. 520 responses were received from organisations and individuals - 67% favoured retention of court working dress; 15% favoured abolition in all respects; and the remainder favoured some simplification, including 14% who advocated abolishing the wig.
Paragraph 7.20, Justice for All [CM 5563], TSO, ISBN 0-10-155632-2, July 2002.
Review of the Criminal Court in England and Wales, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Auld, September 2001.
Practice Direction (Court Dress)  1 Cr App R 13; as varied by Practice Direction (Court Dress) (No 3) of Lord Irvine of Lairg, LC  1Cr App R336
Chapter 11, paragraph 179, Review of the Criminal Court in England and Wales, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Auld, September 2001.