OPINION: Should we be allowed to be more casual in court?

RECENTLY a judge ordered a girl to go home and get changed because she was inappropriately attired in his court room.

From memory, she was wearing short shorts and he deemed that wasn't a high enough dress standard.

There are numerous reports around the world of people being found in contempt of court for not dressing well.

I'm a little torn about this issue. Perhaps courts should move with the times and be a little more relaxed about their dress rules.

On the other hand, you dress well for court out of respect to the higher office and in order to make a good impression.

Apart from your wedding day or school formals, there are not too many occasions these days where you do have to dress up.

I remember my parents, who grew up in the 1950s, used to get dressed up to go the pictures or out to dinner.

Even if they were just going across the fence to the next door neighbour's house for a barbecue, my dad would change into his long daks and best polo.

But times have changed, casual is cool and far more the norm than a suit and tie.

I well remember the most stares I have ever received in my life was walking down the main street of Mullumbimby in a suit.

Perhaps they thought I was a real estate agent or a funeral director, but actually I was on my way to a job interview on the Gold Coast.

As far as the courts go, perhaps there is room for compromise.

Ditch the wig and gowns and set a dress standard that is reasonable.


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