What Does It Mean For UK Judges And Lawyers In Court With Wigs? (picture)

What does it mean for UK judges and lawyers to be in court with a wig ? (picture)

The origin of judges wearing wigs


Wearing wigs by judges and lawyers in court is one of the most distinctive traditions of British courts. In some former British colonies that have been deeply influenced by the British judicial system, we can also see this cultural imprint with British characteristics, such as China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Why do British judges and lawyers wear wigs? Many historians have put forward various explanations, but it is difficult to convince all of them.


Some people say that in the Middle Ages, overwork and illness caused judicial officers to lose their hair prematurely. In order to hide their “super smart” in front of the public, wigs became popular and became a scene of British courts by convention.

Some people say that judges wear wigs to show their high morals, while lawyers wear wigs to a certain extent to cover up and protect, because they are worried that their defense results will not be recognized by the defendants and their families. But that’s not so much a plausible explanation as it’s a joke made up by someone with a relationship with the lawyer to discredit them. Because according to a recent survey: 57% of lawyers are dissatisfied with wearing wigs and want to take it off. The reason is that these wigs made of horsehair are very expensive but very unhygienic. In a lifetime, there is a family of lawyers who has a 94-year-old antique that has been passed down for four generations and can be called a family heirloom.


According to the research of historians and folklorists, the popular fashion tradition of wearing wigs in the UK began around the twelfth century. At that time, it was not just the patent of judges and lawyers. People in the upper classes regarded wearing wigs as a fashion. It is a formal dress for formal occasions or salon parties, and it is a symbol of social status.

The wig fashion began with King Louis XIII of France, especially in the 17th century, and many industries also used it as a symbol. But the French Revolution and the American Revolutionary War cleaned up the muddy water, and the revolutionary parties changed their customs and swept away the symbols of status and rank. Now only the court systems of the United Kingdom and a few countries maintain this habit. Judges in the United Kingdom and former Commonwealth countries and territories, including Hong Kong, wear a shawl wig on their heads, lawyers wear small wigs, and both judges and lawyers wear robes, usually black. The courtroom under this decoration gives a very ceremonial feeling. It is said that with wigs , judges put on black robes and fake laws to hide their true colors, get rid of selfishness and distractions, and become the embodiment of the rule of law, the embodiment of truth, goodness and beauty.

The third president of the United States, Jefferson, criticized the wig, saying that what he hated most was the British-style judge’s wig. The United States also abolished wigs and robes, but robes were later restored. The atmosphere created by clothing such as wigs and robes highlights the extreme importance of the role of the judge, the extreme importance of this position. The wigs worn by judges are official-style wigs, indicating their official position, and the atmosphere it wants to create is for fear that you won’t be able to see that it’s a wig. Therefore, this kind of wig gives people a special “dehumanized” feeling after wearing it, that is to say , the person wearing the wig does not look like a person. , demigod thought.

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