I found the judge seated in the center, he was wearing a violet robe with lilac facings and a girdle. There was a red tipper (sash) over his left shoulder since he was dealing with a criminal case. The prosecution was seated on one side and the defendant's barristers on the other. The members of the jury comprised seven men and five women of whom I noticed that there was only one minority person represented among the jury and most of these people were dressed in suits. The person in charge of the prosecution was the Crown prosecutor, who are generally appointed by the Crown prosecution service, and there were two junior barristers seated with him. The Crown prosecutor was himself robed in black with full sleeves, although he was wearing a suit below his gown. The collar of the shirt was stiff and had two linen strips of about 5 inches by 1 inch which hung down the front and additionally, he also wore a wig with curls down to the shoulders. The two junior barristers sitting on the prosecution side were similarly robed but their robes were open at the front with a gathered yoke at the neck and open sleeves coming halfway down their arms.
On the defendant’s side, there were three advocates present, although it appeared that only one was a barrister since he similarly wore a wig. The other two appeared to be the solicitors of the defendant since they were dressed in silk robes with flap collars and long closed sleeves and wore no wigs6.
A witness was being interviewed by the Prosecution. He was an expert, a doctor who had been called in to testify to nature and extent of the victim’s injuries that were the result of his examination of her. When I entered the Court, I nodded in the direction of the Judge and quietly took a seat near the entrance. It appeared that the witness’ oath had already been taken because he was seated in the witness box and the Crown prosecutor was already in the position of questioning him, to which the doctor was providing his answers.
* Access to Justice Act 1999
* A guide to the criminal justice system in England and wales.” [online] http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/cjs2000.pdf at pp 18
* Bankowski, Z.K, Hutton, N.R. and McNamus, J.J., 1987. “Lay Justice” Edinburgh: T& T Clark at pp 20
* Darbyshire, Penny, 1997. “An essay on the importance and neglect of the magistracy” Criminal law review, 627 at pp 628-9
* Martin, J, 2003. “The English Legal System” London” Hodder Arnold.
* “Murder in the U.K.” [Online] Available at:
http://www.murderuk.com/criminology/black.htm; accessed 1/8/07
* R v Fergus 98 Cr App R 313
* Woodcock, Thomas, 2003. “ Legal Habits: a brief sartorial history of wig, robe and gown”. London: Good books Publications Ltd
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