By Anthony L. Hall
The inviting image of white sand and bright sun glistening off the crystal-blue waters of our Caribbean Sea has formed the backdrop of almost every television report from The Bahamas on the Anna Nicole saga. Yet it’s the fleeting glance of a black lawyer striding across the courtyard of our Supreme Court – crowned with a white wig and draped in a black gown flowing behind him like Batman’s cape – that has captivated the attention of many of my American friends.
|Anthony L. Hall is a descendant
of the Turks & Caicos Islands,
international lawyer and political
consultant - headquartered in
Washington DC - who publishes
his own Internet Weblog at
offering commentaries on current
events from a Caribbean
But they could not have known that their understandable enquiries about this peculiar sight would blow the lid off my long-simmering indignation at Bar Associations throughout the Caribbean for requiring members to adorn themselves like 17th Century British toffs to appear in court. And I reveal this with all due respect to lawyers who wear wigs and gowns as the indispensable badge of their professional authority and prestige.
Admittedly, I am on record entreating regional governments to abolish the (inherently superficial and corrupt) British honours system, which only perpetuates a slavish devotion to royal pretensions amongst our people. In fact, I have even called for them to rid our respective countries of the Queen as Head of State. (See Related Articles below)
Therefore, I suspect few readers will be surprised by this plea for our regional judiciaries to abolish wigs and gowns.
But, in addition to my unassailable political opposition, I submit that these legal accoutrements are more suited to the stuffy, dank, and frigid climes of the British Isles; not the liberating tropical weather of the Caribbean. And, even though blue-blooded Englishmen might find the itchy discomfort these wigs of horsehair inflict perfectly amenable to their sadomasochistic nature, most Caribbean lawyers wear them under duress as prickly and unsightly hats of thorns.
Never mind the sweat this quaint, effete and anachronistic attire produces, which I can personally attest poses a formidable challenge even to the most fragrant antiperspirant.
Accordingly I plead: Free us from British wigs and gowns...
Corrupt British honours system
Marriage between royals and subjects is irretrievably broken down