English civil judges abandoned traditional dress, wigs

On July 12, 2007, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, announced reforms to judicial dress which abolished the traditional wigs, wing collars, and bands for civil and family court judges. The reforms were certified following a four-year debate surrounding a 2004 report which indicated that the public preferred modernization of the judiciary working dress. The judiciary staunchly opposed the proposed reforms, arguing that it would detract from the traditional majesty of the courts. The changes became effective on January 1, 2008, and were projected to reduce government spending by approximately $610,000 by reducing the dress allowances made to judges. The reforms allowed judges sitting in criminal proceedings to retain their traditional dress.

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