Judges to wear gowns to give Family Court ‘gravitas’
Judges’ gowns are to make a comeback in the Family Court after its principal judge called for a change to help the court to be taken more seriously.
Family Court judges and lawyers are currently forbidden by law from wearing either gowns or wigs “to prevent unnecessary formality”.
Principal Judge Peter Boshier said he asked for a return of the gowns to raise the gravitas of the court in the public’s eye.
“I felt the Family Court ought to be seen by the public as a court that makes decisions that should be respected.
“We have suffered a little bit in the past from some people who have not taken Family Court decisions as seriously as they otherwise would have.
“So the introduction of the gowns is symbolic but important. It shows the court is a mainstream court whose decisions should be viewed no differently from any other court.”
extract NZ Herald