Top judge rocks incredible judicial face mask

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Robe-inspired number features Lord Justice Nugee’s initials

Lord Justice Nugee (Image credit: Rose Nugee)

A top judge has used a recent swearing-in ceremony to showcase their incredible robe-inspired face covering.

Sported by Lord Justice Nugee, who currently sits in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, the fashionable face covering was designed specially for a recent swearing-in ceremony, whereby judges were required to wear their wigs, ceremonial robes and, in light of coronavirus, face masks.

According to specialist embroiderers Hawthorne and Heaney, it was commissioned by Nugee’s daughter, Rose, to make a bespoke mask that complimented the “ornate details” of his Court of Appeal gown. The extravagant (and washable) mask flaunts three shades of gold thread stitched onto black silk, as well as Nugee’s initials embellished on its side — “so no one could possibly mistake that it was theirs”.

At the ceremony, Nugee — who is married to Emily Thornberry, a barrister turned Labour MP — received praise from the Lord Chief Justice, Ian Burnett, who apparently recognised the “splendid” COVID-accessory in his speech.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen eye-catching legally-themed face coverings. As reported by Legal Cheek, face masks received the law treatment early into the COVID-crisis — albeit, nowhere near as dashing as Nugee’s bold statement piece.

The question remains: could this spark a fashionable face-mask frenzy among the nation’s top judges?

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Old Guy

Google suggests this was reported first back in November 2020. Hot off the press Legal Cheek.



The bigger news story ought to be why in the 21st century do we still dress government officials up in such ridiculous outfits.


Lord Denning's Ghost

Not government, judiciary. I think the whole get-up looks great if i’m honest! As traditions go, it’s not a particularly damaging one.



Judges are government officials. They form one of the three key limbs of a government, the judiciary.


Alexander Atkinson

The judiciary is a separate pillar of a democracy from the executive and legislative not a “limb of government” under the legal doctrine of the separation of powers



I’m not sure it’s a legal doctrine so much as a political one.

It’s certainly not enshrined in law in this country, in statute, case law or convention. It’s more of an American thing.

Basil Bogroll

Hackaforte is right, in that the concept came out of the French model and took hold in the US after that. The UK never really had it much as an applied until probably the Blair years, when it started to drive reforms, though it was evident in principles of administrative law prior to that. Since Blair it has been more of a factor in the UK.

But whatever the role of it in the UK, Alexander is talking out his backside. “Separate pillar of democracy”, god I hope he is just starting out on A levels! Separation of powers is about the three pillars of a state’s governance. And do you know who governs? The government. Under any separate of powers analysis the judicial function is one of the key limbs of government.


I like the idea, but the net effect is of an eldritch, toothy, piranha-like maw…



Just to irritate you.


Colin the Caterpillar

Utterly odious


Parry Hotter

We should not be normalising masks like this. They serve a current purpose but we need to get rid as soon as can


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