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In intention, certainly, the former. The issue of how justice looks when decreed by middle aged men (largely) in fancy dress is moot. The public want tradition - hence the retention of the wig and gown in criminal cases - bu the consumers of civil justice are not so sure. The Commercial Court is said to contribute about £4b annually to the economy. It's important.

Other than tradition, the arguments for the retention of current dress don't apply to the judiciary. Their anonymity is irrelevant in civil cases and their pictures can be accessed on the web anyway. They do not need wigs to disguise their inexperience, or to make them look like everyone else. Nor, in fact, did they ever wear scarlet robes in civil cases - it was blue for summer and indigo for winter. Judges in the Court of Appeal wear black - period. They have been unkindly compared to a row of crows.

Barristers are retaining the wig and traditional gown in all kinds of case, save family where they do not wear them.
 

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As of today, judges hearing civil cases in Britain's High Court and Court of Appeal will no longer wear scarlet robes or wigs. A concession to modern life and sensibilities or a lessening of standards.
A long overdue concession to practicality and modern life, in order to make victims and their families and witnesses, especially children, feel less intimidated.
Nothing whatsoever to do with a lessening of standards.
Simply another case of what I mentioned yesterday, a necessary cultural change.
 
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