Law & Order: UK Forums

Wednesday 9:00 PM on ITVBetween Seasons

Wigs in court

  • Avatar of embrezar


    [1]Sep 24, 2010
    • member since: 12/31/08
    • level: 9
    • rank: Door Number 2
    • posts: 21

    I apologize for being woefully ignorant of the UK legal system, and the associated terms, but I was under the impression that court was quite formal, with the judge and lawyers (I think they might be called briefs, apologies if I'm wrong) wearing wigs. I was wondering, though... in every episode I have seen in which the Crown prosecutor James Steel appears in court, he wears a wig. For some reason, his backup (or second-in-command, or whatever her proper term is) Alesha Phillips does not wear one. In each episode, the primary defense and prosecution lawyers wore wigs, as did the judge. However, in S03E01, "Broken," neither Steel nor the defense brief Kim Sharkey wore wigs. Is this perhaps because the persons on trial were juveniles? I'm not sure why one would wear a wig in one case and not in another.

    Is there anyone here more familiar with the UK legal system than myself that could enlighten me? I would appreciate any responses.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of princessleia77


    [2]Sep 24, 2010
    • member since: 06/19/05
    • level: 26
    • rank: Bow Flex
    • posts: 316
    I'm Canadian, so I'm not really sure. I think I read somewhere that there was talk in Britain about getting rid of the wigs. Maybe to make the lawyers seem more accessible and/or modern. I always wondered about Alesha too. In the first and second season (if we're counting the current episodes to be season 3), like you said, the Defense and the other Crown counsel would wear wigs, but she wouldn't. And I don't think it is a case of men wearing them and women not, because female defense lawyers wore them. Maybe she didn't have to wear one because she is junior Crown counsel.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of conrad1on


    [3]Oct 14, 2010
    • member since: 02/10/07
    • level: 7
    • rank: Talk Show Host
    • posts: 4

    Although it wasn't specifically referred to, you are right in suggesting that the reason wigs weren't worn in that episode was because the defendants were children. Often, in cases involving minors - either as defendants or witnesses - some of the more formal trappings of the court are dropped in order to create a less oppressive atmosphere for the child.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of BAMBERBABE


    [4]Oct 19, 2010
    • member since: 01/04/10
    • level: 2
    • rank: Sweat Hog
    • posts: 1

    Alesha is a junior advocate and they don't wear wigs. In cases like BROKEN, where children are tried in crown court, it's at the Judges discretion but usually neither prosecution or defense would wear wigs or gowns.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.