JUDGES ON the New South Wales Court of Appeal will have to start worrying about bad hair days now that they have voted to abandon wearing wigs in civil cases.
Of the Courts’ 13 judges, nine voted to scrap the horsehair wigs in a vote last week, which means barristers in the Court of Appeal will also be prevented from wearing wigs in civil matters, lest they upstage the judges.
In the NSW Supreme Court however, the judges were less progressive, voting 28 to 22 to retain the iconic wigs in civil cases.
Judges in both courts will continue to wear wigs in criminal matters on ceremonial occasions, said Court spokeswoman Sonya Zadel, saying they offered some measure of disguise.
“In criminal matters a wig gives a judge some anonymity … it’s an issue of safety and security,” she said.
West Australian judges have already dumped wigs in civil cases and Australia’s High Court judges discarded wigs in 1988.