Lord Phillips, the President of the UKSC, has announced that advocates appearing before the Court or the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council may, by agreement, dispense with the traditional court dress of gowns and wigs.

Advocates customarily appear unrobed in family cases, and the UKSC/JCPC User Group, which represents professional users of the Court, asked if this practice could be extended to other cases.  The Justices, who do not wear court dress themselves, acceded to the request, taking the view that it highlighted the Court’s commitment to providing an appropriate and accessible environment for the considered discussion of legal issues.


In an intriguing story that caught the UKSC blog’s eye last week it appears that while the UK Supreme Court is keen to relax dress codes, the High Court of India is heading in the opposite direction. The Times of India reports that the Bombay High Court has imposed a mandatory dress code for litigants. A notice requests that security personnel “only allow litigants wearing modest dresses in sober colours” to enter the building. The dress code does not define either “modest” or “sober” but has been justified on the grounds that it was put up it was put up to prevent “unsocial activities in the premises”.