Dash of detergent keeps wigs clean

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2005, 12:00am

It takes just a little detergent and some fabric softener in lukewarm water once a year to keep a judge's wig clean, Judge Sweeney said.

He washes his own wig once a year, but finds wigs rather outdated and silly and thinks they should be abolished.

His comments come weeks after recently retired High Court judge Mr Justice Gareth Lugar-Mawson admitted he had never washed his wig and called for the 'smelly, unhygienic and uncomfortable' tradition to end. However, both judges conceded that some form of uniform must be retained.

'Small claims and labour tribunal judges do not wear wigs and often find litigants shouting at them,' Judge Sweeney said.

'Some uniforms are necessary because we are supposed to embody what the law says ... without uniforms, people may see a ruling as Mr Sweeney's rather than the court's. It becomes personalised.'