Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 79 - May 2017
Supreme Court Library Queensland collection display: Legal Dress in Queensland Print E-mail

wig_intro.jpgThe library’s new display on level 12 of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law draws together items from our legal heritage collection and explores the history, custom and traditions of legal dress in Queensland.

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
Supreme Court Library Queensland
Level 12, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law
415 George Street, Brisbane

Legal dress continues to intrigue library visitors. Many aspects and traditions associated with legal dress date back to the 17th century when wigs were first introduced as part of official court attire in England. Influenced by wider societal changes and changes in fashion and technology, legal dress and traditions have evolved to suit the times.

The display showcases and explains the many types of wigs and gowns worn by judges and the legal profession.

Highlights and rare items include:

  • full-bottomed wig thought to have originally belonged to the former Premier and Attorney-General the Hon Thomas J Ryan QC (1876-1921), donated by the Hon Margaret White AO
  • bench wig originally belonging to the Hon Sir Harry Gibbs GCMG AC KBE
  • replica black cap and scarf traditionally worn when a judge pronounced a death sentence, worn until the abolition of the death penalty in Queensland in 1921.

For more information please visit legalheritage.sclqld.org.au/exhibitions .

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