Chief Justice Anin Yeboah has warned that sanctions will be imposed on judges and professional magistrates who fail to comply with stated dress standards.
“Judges and professional magistrates must be fully robed in wig and gown for court sittings at all times,” a circular signed by the Chief Justice stated.
The circular indicates that the CJ had become aware that certain Judges and Professional Magistrates were not complying with the dress code.
The circular provides the dress standards as follows;
Barrister’s trousers (Trouseline) with Court waistcoat or Black trouser suit
White tunic shirt
Collars held with studs and stiffeners
Court band tie/bibs
Black plain socks and black shoes.”
Black skirt or trouser suit or Barrister’s skirt or trousers (Trouseline) with Court
White Court tunic shirt or white top
Or plain black sleeved (long or three quarters) dress
Black Court or Block heeled Shoes (Full closed shoes)”.
“It concludes; I re-iterate that dressing in this manner helps to preserve the decorum, seriousness, and formality of court proceedings and the importance of the proper administration of justice.”
“For this reason, judges and professional magistrates should also ensure that members of the Bar who appear before the Courts strictly comply with the dress standards to maintain the dignity of the court. I trust that I can count on your unalloyed cooperation.”
This is not the first time the Chief Justice has issued such a warning. In September 2021, a similar circular was issued. The code of dressing, the Chief Justice said, helps to preserve the “decorum, seriousness and formality of court proceedings and formality of court proceedings”.
The wearing of wigs remains a thorny issue in the legal profession, with some respected legal brains publicly describing the practice as a relic of colonialism.
Others say there is no scientific basis for the claim that it assists the administration of justice in any way.