Different Judge Robes All Over the World

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Different countries have different traditions. As such, varying judge robes also exist. We may not be aware of this fact. After all, we’re confined to our very own judicial system. If you’re curious on how different the judges’ pieces of attire of are all over the world, below is a short guide on how to distinguish them!

United States of America

U.S. District Senior Judge Malcolm Muir | Image source: Penn Live

You may already be familiar with how judge robes in the United States look like: plain black robes are common in many courts. But in the olden days, the whole outfit eschewed any sort of British influence after attaining independence. Grandiose robes were once worn by judges, which are different from today. Even then, in certain states, robes still vary from the standard look. Here are some modern American judge robes for sale.

United Kingdom

Appeal Court Judge Sir Alan Moses | Image source: The Independent

British judge robes rely on that traditional appeal, as the customs of British courts is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the 14th century. The judges of upper courts wear powdered wigs while the lower ones wear what is called a “barrister” wig. The robes themselves come in blue, green, white, and even purple! They feature a stiff cross collar, also worn by high-ranking clerics of the Anglican Church.

Canada

Judge David Wake | Image source: National Post

Canada’s judge robes are somehow similar to that of Britain, but with some differences. For example, judicial wigs are mostly absent. For another thing, judges wear different linings according to specific provinces. The court of New Brunswick adopts a gold lining. In Nova Scotia, a black sash is worn. For other provinces is a red sash.

Asia

The Bangkok Constitutional Court | Image source: Chiang Rai Times

Countries as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, China, and Taiwan have never been colonized by western powers. Thai, South Korean, and Taiwanese justices use black American-style robes with colored trim. Japanese judges wear simple plain-black garments. Influenced by second-world powers, mainland Chinese justices used to wear Soviet-style robes, but were thrown away during the 80s in favor of a more American look.

The Arab World

Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani | Image source: Mail Online

Arab countries are perhaps the least westernized when it comes to judicial attire, due to the Muslim majority. Courts in Iran wear simple robes, denouncing elaborate costumes worn in the west. North African countries such as Egypt and Libya wear green linings over business suits.