THE AUSTRALIAN legal profession sits on the fence when it comes to the much-debated issue of whether judges should wear wigs.
While a definite majority of Lawyers Weekly readers who voted on an online poll asking whether judges should wear wigs, get with the times or that perhaps it makes no difference, a winning 54 per cent said they should continue to don the horse hair.
But a close 36 per cent voted that no, judges should shun the wig, and let their hair hang loose. A minimal 10 per cent argued it made no difference.
The results come after year of gentle discussion on the topic, which has become more heated in recent months as judges on the New South Wales Court of Appeal voted to abandon wearing wigs in civil cases.
UK judges have also entered the fray. In a light-hearted column in the Spectator recently, one-time UK barrister, journalist and author Harry Mount argued that the time has come to rid the profession of the antiquated tradition of “sticking thick mats of greasy horsehair on their heads”.
But judging by the Australian profession’s view on the subject, judges should keep wearing the wigs, no matter what they’re made of.