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Off With Their Wigs! Irish Judges No Longer Need To Don Horsehair

<p>He might not be amused: Irish lawyer Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy (1819-1880).</p>
London Stereoscopic Company
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He might not be amused: Irish lawyer Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy (1819-1880).

For first time since the 17th century, judges in Ireland no longer need to wear horsehair wigs while in court.

According to The Irish Times, the new rule won't just modernize the look of the court, it will also save the Irish government money. It has been paying about $3,000 each for wigs as new judges are appointed to the Supreme, High and Circuit courts.

Another reform also went into effect today: Chief Justice John Murray "changed the required form of address to a judge from 'My Lord' to 'Judge' or 'A Bhreithimh.' "

Judges can still choose to follow tradition, as may barristers.

Imagine what this kind of change might do to Law & Order UK. BBC America has almost made "the wig" a character of its own.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.