British judges' wigs get the chop from court

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A CENTURIES-old tradition of wearing a white horse-hair wig in court ended for many British judges on Wednesday when a simpler new dress code came into force.

While judges in criminal cases will still wear them, those in civil and family hearings will appear bare-headed in court, wearing a new-style plain black robe, the government said.

After a long debate that divided the legal profession, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, head of the judiciary in England and Wales, finally ordered the changes in an attempt to modernise the courts.

Wigs have been an emblem of the British legal system since the 17th century when the fashion for wearing them in wider society filtered through to the courts.

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