Court Dress

FYI: Why do Hong Kong's judges still wear those funny wigs?

The solemn black gowns and cumbersome curled wigs that perch atop the heads of Hong Kong's barristers and judges represent one of the more curious anomalies of the local legal system - all the more so since the government is one of the few to stick to a tradition being

Sunday, 8 June, 2008, 12:00am

Court attire part of our common-law tradition

Traditions are difficult to hold on to in Hong Kong as our city seeks to remain internationally competitive. It is natural that we question practices, embracing what is dearest, and discarding that which seems incongruous.

3 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Justice still delivered behind closed doors despite pre-handover think-tank's

RADICAL changes to make the courts more open to the public have not been implemented, nearly three years after a legal think-tank attacked the practice of justice behind closed doors.

Sweeping reforms proposed by a working party just before the handover were backed by top judges, and the doors of hearings previously held in secret were to be thrown open to the public.

30 Jan 2000 - 12:00am

Chief Justice's makes plea for foreign counsel

Barristers should 'enter the World Cup' for lawyers, the Chief Justice said yesterday as he stepped up his campaign for more top counsel from overseas to do battle in Hong Kong.

Andrew Li Kwok-nang, SC, threw down a challenge to counsel who claim they need to be protected from talented foreign competition.

'We have the World Cup going on at the moment.

27 Jun 1998 - 12:00am

Top judges back changes in full

Top judges have decided that a report calling for sweeping changes to make the courts more open to the public should be implemented in full.

The decision means members of the public will in future have access to many civil hearings currently held in private.

25 Feb 1998 - 12:00am

Courts ready to open shut cases

New laws are on the way to provide a radical opening-up of the courts in line with controversial recommendations of a senior Judiciary think-tank.

The Civil Court Users' Committee suggested the working party's report, which called for greater public access to hearings, should be implemented in full.

9 Aug 1997 - 12:00am

Judges vow to unveil key internal reports

Judges have for the first time pledged to release two internal reports on open justice.

The reports, one of which was commissioned as a result of a South China Morning Post campaign, would be released to the Legal Department, Legal Aid Department and 'anyone who requests a copy', a spokesman said.

28 Apr 1997 - 12:00am

Language plays key role in post-handover court changes

Will our legal system remain the same after the handover? It will remain the same in most important respects. But there will also be some changes. Judges will have to start applying the Basic Law, but the important legal principles that underpin the system will remain.

10 Mar 1997 - 12:00am

In defence of wigs: barristers' evidence

IT'S old-fashioned, scratchy, and even unhygienic, but judges and barristers are reluctant to give up this emblem of British legal tradition - the horsehair wig.

Though this headpiece has long been ridiculed as anachronistic, it is far from a laughing matter in Britain where the judiciary recently decided that this 18th-century mark of British justice must not be discarded.

12 Apr 1993 - 12:00am