#1
Old 11-10-2008, 01:19 AM
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Barrister wigs

What are barrister wigs called? Those white wigs with curls that are worn in courts in the UK. Both the wiki articles for wigs and court dress mention them but don't give a name other than just "wigs".
#2
Old 11-10-2008, 03:12 AM
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Apparently they're called "Legal Wigs".

Judges wear "Full Bottom Wigs", also called "Ceremonial Wigs" (the long wig), or "Undress Wigs", also called "Tye Wigs" (the short wig) and Barristers wear "Barrister Wigs".

Cite
#3
Old 11-10-2008, 03:15 AM
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I'll take a stab at this since no one else has. I work in a jurisdiction where these are worn. Within the profession, when you refer to a wig there is no other sort of wig that you would likely be referring to, so there's no need to be more specific. Outside the profession, I can't say I've heard any more specific term than "lawyer's wig" or "barrister's wig" or "judge's wig" or "judicial wig", but these are just descriptive names, really.
#4
Old 11-10-2008, 05:12 AM
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Thanks folks!
#5
Old 11-10-2008, 06:53 AM
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I am a studying to be a barrister in England and Wales. Barristers wear wigs when appearing in front of higher courts, such as the Crown Court (the old Baily for instance) and the Court of Appeal. Interestingly they are not worn in the House of Lords, and also not worn in many civil cases.
#6
Old 11-10-2008, 09:14 AM
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Mr AK84, the issue in this case is what wigs are called. I'm not sure I can see where are you going with this, this... line of disquisition on when wigs are worn. Do you expect to finish before lunch?

Last edited by Princhester; 11-10-2008 at 09:16 AM.
#7
Old 11-10-2008, 09:19 AM
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Perhaps 20 more minutes, then, counsel?
#8
Old 11-10-2008, 10:58 AM
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Be upstanding!
#9
Old 11-10-2008, 11:05 AM
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They're rather silly though, aren't they? I can't understand why these are still worn. Yes, tradition, blah, blah, blah........ But at some point these really need to be discontinued. How anyone could take these seriously is beyond me. I'd probably break down in laughter confronted by a judge or lawyer wearing one of these. All I can think of is Eric Idle "I banged me gavel!"
#10
Old 11-10-2008, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
How anyone could take these seriously is beyond me. I'd probably break down in laughter confronted by a judge or lawyer wearing one of these.
Yes, it's all fun and games until the beak puts his black cap on.
#11
Old 11-10-2008, 12:19 PM
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Lawyerspeak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Be upstanding!
I remember reading that a young woman had a "handsome pair of understandings" and it took me a while to get that it meant "legs".

I am also reminded of the young, male lawyer saying to his date: "If you are not here for what I'm here for you'll be here long after I'm gone".
#12
Old 11-10-2008, 01:13 PM
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After visiting a London court, Thomas Jefferson called judges' wigs "detestable things", writing: "We must not have men sitting in judgment who look like mice peeping out of oakum."
#13
Old 11-10-2008, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nametag
After visiting a London court, Thomas Jefferson called judges' wigs "detestable things", writing: "We must not have men sitting in judgment who look like mice peeping out of oakum."
He should talk:
Quote:
The account books of a Williamsburg wig maker supply evidence that Thomas Jefferson did purchase wigs and hair pieces early in his professional career. The records of Edward Carlton, now in the Colonial Williamsburg Archives, show that between April 15, 1769 and April 25, 1773, Thomas Jefferson purchased a brown "Dress Queue", a brown "Tye Wig," two brown "Dress Bob-wigs," two "pairs of curls" and three pounds of hair powder.
#14
Old 11-10-2008, 10:29 PM
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I have a barrister's wig. (The're also used in Australia). They are extremely prickly and irritating if you have a sensitive scalp.
#15
Old 11-11-2008, 12:59 AM
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Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of lawyers' wigs, along with excellent illustrations.

Customary warning: the link is to a PDF file.

Legal Habits
#16
Old 11-11-2008, 01:36 AM
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great link, thanks! just what I need to point my articling students to, when they ask "why do we wear these things?" (robes, not wigs).

Last edited by Northern Piper; 11-11-2008 at 01:37 AM. Reason: typos
#17
Old 11-11-2008, 11:44 AM
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Another name often applied to wigs of this kind is "peruke" (per-ŪK).

Quote:
The chancellor in his peruke
The earl the marquess and the duke
The groom the butler and the cook
They all shall equal be

From Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Gondoliers"
#18
Old 11-11-2008, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
I have a barrister's wig. (The're also used in Australia). They are extremely prickly and irritating if you have a sensitive scalp.
Wear it a lot?
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