Judges can lock up their robes
THEY have been wearing black mourning gowns since the death of Charles II in 1685.
But Ireland's judges will be allowed to ditch their horsehair wigs and gowns under new plans to overhaul the legal profession by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Barristers have been allowed to dispense with their wigs since 1995, but the practice of wearing court costumes has remained for the country's judges.
The removal of an obligation to wear ceremonial robes and headdress is part of a move to modernise the courts.
But the option is likely to meet resistance from many members of the judiciary, who prefer to maintain the tradition and feel their courtroom attire affords the judiciary respect.