The barrister garb costs more than $1,500 to buy if you take up the mega-discount the merchants of these things provide to baby barros. Normally, the wig itself costs $1,350. I shelled out for some at around 4.45 p.m. on 30 June 2007. Now the English have abolished wigs for civil and family trials (some consultant managed to wring a fee of AU$250,000 out of her Majesty’s government for the report recommending same) and the New South Welsh are muttering in the same direction. NSW Supreme Court judges are actually going to vote on the question. What is more, Rob Hulls, Victoria’s Attorney-General, has reportedly said ‘there is plenty of horsehair running around Flemington … and that is where it should stay’. Apparently, it’s already happened in Westralia. Here’s a .pdf version of a whole book on the history of legal wigs from England. And here’s an Australian pamphlet on the subject.
I thought the wig was a bit dear, but now that I know the hair is from Mongolian ponies, I’m much happier. In fact Ludlows say:
‘Our wigs are made from the hair of Mongolian ponies and Australian Brumbies, the finest horsehair available in the world. The hair used for our wigs is taken naturally by cutting, the animals are not harmed. Once sourced, the hair is sterilised and bleached so that it is completely clean and conforms to the strictest standards.
Each wig takes six days to make and is built on a block by one artisan (not on a production line) in the same manner that the finest hats were once made, ensuring the wig keeps its shape for a lifetime.’
I think the barristers’ garb is a bit plain. It needs to be revamped, ramped up, given a bit of bling. I’m thinking gold, lace, medals. Like the Chief Justice of Malaysia:
See other forms of judicial dress at this site.