What Judges Wear To Court In Various Countries Around The World

If you’ve travelled to another country before, or have at least searched for images from another country, you’ll notice how different countries around the world have various cultures. From different types of food to different types of celebrations, and even different costumes too. Dress for court and legal attire are no exception to this, even barrister robes look different depending on where you are in the world.

Judges Wear In World


  • If you watch a lot of judge TV shows, the sight of US barrister robe will look familiar to you.
  • Plain black robes are common in many courts today, but back in the day the whole outfit eschewed any sort of British influence after attaining independence.
  • They were also much more grandiose in design as well.

United Kingdom

  • The British system of courts is one of the oldest form of courts in the world, dating back to the 14th
  • British barrister robes rely heavy on traditional appeal still to this day. The judges of upper courts wear powdered wigs while the lower ones wear what is called a “barrister” or a “judge” wig.
  • Very different than the US barrister robes in plain black, British judge robes come in a variety of colours, including blue, green, white, and even purple!


  • Canada’s judge robes are somewhat similar to that of the United Kingdom, but with a few differences.
  • For example, judge wigs are mostly absent.
  • Additionally, judges wear different linings according to specific provinces.
  • For example, the court of New Brunswick adopts a gold lining. In Nova Scotia, a black sash is worn. For other provinces, it is a red sash.


  • Countries as South Korea, Thailand, China, and Taiwan have never been colonized by western powers (Britain), however they do like to borrow the United States’ plain-black look, with some countries adding a bit of flair.
  • For example, Thai, South Korean, and Taiwanese justices use black American-style robes with colored trim.
  • Influenced by second-world powers, mainland Chinese justices used to wear Soviet-style robes but were thrown away during the 80s in favor of a more American look.

Arab Countries

  • Arab countries are perhaps the least westernized when it comes to judicial attire, due to the Muslim majority.
  • Courts in Iran wear simple robes, denouncing elaborate costumes worn in the west.
  • North African countries such as Egypt and Libya wear green linings over business suits.

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