Lawyers Want Judges' Wigs Discarded
Human rights lawyers want judges in higher courts to abandon the wearing of wigs saying the practice is outdated and therefore irrelevant.
In its analysis of seven pieces of legislation, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the money being used to buy the wigs could be used for other important things. ZLHR said:
The practice of wearing wigs by judges of the superior courts in Zimbabwe must be dropped as this is now outdated and not relevant.Feedback
The wigs were introduced to Africa during colonial days. Most former British colonies that include Zimbabwe still have the practice of judges wearing wigs.
Some have argued that wigs create an environment of intimidation and fear that is needed in the courtroom.
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This practice must be dropped to save money that could be reallocated for other necessary costs such as subsidising the user fees.
The wigs, introduced in the 1600s in Britain, cost between £457.50 and £2 495.83 (US$3 265) each.
When they were introduced, they were fashionable and viewed as a sign of respect.
In 2019, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) purchased 64 of the wigs in question at a total cost of £118 400 (US$132,973.86) from UK firm Stanely Ley Legal Outfitters in London.
Kenya, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries as well as Britain itself have abandoned the use of wigs. | NewZimbabwe.com
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