As of October, the powered wigged past is now not required in British courts in civil and family law cases. In other cases? I just don’t know. Wigs have been a part of the courtroom in Britain since the 17th century. These horsehair wigs, while adding a sense of grandeur and history to the proceedings, come at a heavy cost.
“Some people think it gives them more authority,” Baldwin said of his traditional horsehair headpiece, which trial lawyers are required to wear in British courtrooms. “But most of us just think they’re itchy.”
After a series of reforms to the British court system, the call for an end to the era of wigs has been even louder.
“It is an ancient practice that many of us don’t think has a place in the modern world,” said Kevin Martin, president of the Law Society, a national group representing 120,000 lawyers. Martin said he was hopeful that change is near because the judiciary has a new leader, Nicholas Phillips, who is considered a modernizer not wedded to the 17th-century adornments.