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3 top QCs criticise plan to wear wigs during Friday’s day of action

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A split has opened up between those who want to protest in full court garb, and those who don’t.

The organisers of Friday’s strike want the lawyers attending to wear their wigs and gowns.

But last night three top criminal silks came out against the dress code, with Mukul Chawla QC labelling it an “awful idea”, John Cooper QC calling it a “terrible image” and Francis FitzGibbon QC branding it “daft”. This is the tweet by Chawla that began the debate:

The main argument in favour of wig-wearing is that it will lead to more publicity, with photos of lawyers in court dress more likely to feature prominently in media coverage of the protests.

Those against suggest that wigs and gowns introduce a barrier between lawyers and the public at a point in time when that’s not desirable, while enabling the press to play on popular stereotypes of the legal profession as aloof and old fashioned.

It’s an interesting debate, but happily appears unlikely to derail the aim of the day of action.