HC Deb 15 March 1993 vol 221 cc15-6
40. Mr. David Martin

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on standards of dress in courts of justice.

Mr. John M. Taylor

The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice issued a consultation paper on court dress last summer, inviting the views of the public, the judiciary and the professions. The period for submission of responses ended on 31 December 1992 and an analysis of them is now under way. It is hoped that the outcome of the analysis will be available next month.

Mr. Martin

May I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. As for the wearing of wigs, I would not wish to suggest to my hon. Friend in particular that lack of hair on the head implies any less competence or wisdom. Will he confirm that he will not give any undue encouragement to those who wish to prevent barristers, both male and female, from wearing wigs in courts where it is now customary to do so?

Mr. Taylor

I think that my hon. Friend seeks to imply that I am bald, which is fine and also true. However, had he even hinted that I was follicly challenged, I would have had something to say about it. I am not disposed to tell others not to wear wigs, but I certainly will not be wearing one myself.

Mr. Enright

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the wearing of hats even funnier than those worn in the House and the putting on of what appear to be nighties outrages the sensibilities of many people in Yorkshire?

Mr. Taylor

I did not know that this was a specifically Yorkshire question, but I defer to the hon. Gentleman's knowledge of Yorkshire. No doubt he speaks heartily for all his constituents.

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