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It may seem strange that although survey after survey indicates that a majority of barristers and members of the British public favor continuing the 300-year-old tradition of wigs and gowns in court, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the lord chief justice of England and Wales, remains implacable. He has decreed that, starting in October, the wigs will disappear from judges in civil and family cases and that the traditional gowns with wing collars and bands will be replaced by a garment that the Times describes as “dark navy gabardine and wool mix, trimmed with velvet on the cuffs and facings.”

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