Fashion news from across the pond: English judges and barristers are leaping willy-nilly into the nineteenth century, shedding the curly horse-hair wigs that have symbolized the British legal system for centuries.
(Memo to Lat: Explore possibility of haircut for ATL logo-thing.)
The wigs are being removed despite their popularity with the public, who like to be represented by “a proper lawyer with a wig.”
But many others despise wigs as hot, smelly, and more to the point, elitist – they make all too obvious the caste system in British law, dividing the more numerous solicitors, who do most of the day-to-day work of representing clients, from the more prestigious barristers, who for centuries had a monopoly on the right to speak (and to wear a wig) in court. These days the functional distinction between the two kinds of lawyer is eroding, and the solicitors, at least, want the sartorial distinction to vanish as well.
We’re torn. Elitism is of course fabulous, but “smelly” is not.
Judges in criminal cases will keep their wigs, because . . . well, we have no idea why, really.