News24

Dress smart in court - judges

2012-07-30 11:02

Johannesburg - Judges in KwaZulu-Natal are warning the public to dress appropriately for court proceedings, The Star newspaper reported on Monday.

Men, in particular, have been told not to come to court in jeans and sneakers.

At least two judges have recently told men appearing for divorce proceedings that they were not dressed appropriately.

Last Wednesday, a man dressed in blue jeans and a floral print shirt was told by his advocate to "go and buy clothes" after Judge Gregory Kruger refused to hear his divorce case unless he was dressed properly.

Kruger declined to comment to the publication.

Judge Trevor Gorven also warned that people appearing in his court should be dressed smartly unless there was good reason why they could not.

The province's returned judge president Vuka Tshabalala said courts should be respected.
"A court should be held in high regard by society."

Comments
  • nomcebo.k.kubheka.3 - 2012-07-30 11:23

    True, the court should be respected at all times. If you cant come dressed accordingly it just means you have no regard for those in authority.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-30 11:31

      What absolute nonsense. Jeans and a T-shirt are fine, these judges are not gods. I can understand bear feet, or no shirt etc - but there is nothing "unsmart" about jeans. Some people have better and more important things to spend money on than clothes. Mandela stopped the whole suit wearing nonsense thing, did people lose respect for him?

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-07-30 11:33

      I most certainly won't be dressing smartly if I was about to hear my punishment for a crime! As soon as you get the punishment they lock you lock straight away! Those criminals will have a ball with you in jail!

      spook.skrywer - 2012-07-30 12:22

      If that is true, that by dressing properly means respect, does that not imply that we are showing disrespect to God when we attend church services in denims and T Shirts

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-30 12:56

      Nomcebo, you are quite right. Judges are perfectly entitled to stop people dress shabbily to leave their court room. Is considered disrespectful and in contempt not to be dressed properly in a court of law. Take your cue from the formal way all the lawyers in court are dressed!

      thato.loeto.3 - 2012-07-30 14:25

      People should be dressed in whatever they can afford and are comfortable in- as long as it does not show too much body skin (chest, boobs, upper arms, upper legs) and is not printed with inappropriate pictures/ writing. It is important that people appearing in court are dressed comfortable- I am not a suite type of person and the list time I wore it I was NOT COMFORTABLE at the black tie dinner event and I will never go to such events again- I felt like I was not me and had to pretend to be some serious up-tight corporate person. Now imagine if you were to stand in court either as a witness, complainant, defendant or accused- how are you expected to have meaningful inputs into the proceedings if you feel like a clown in a black suite with a tie the whole time?.... like the other person said- "What is being judged ? Evidence or dress code ?"

  • napolita.kio - 2012-07-30 11:23

    How about starting with donning off those black cloaks for some Armani your worship?

  • leorene.minnaar - 2012-07-30 11:24

    It is a sign of respect

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-30 11:34

      Respect cannot be demanded. If a person dresses in jeans and T-shirt and in his mind still respects somebody, you can't fault him. I promise you there are plenty of "well dressed" people walking around who deserve no respect at all. Times have changed, move with them...

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-30 11:38

      Couldn't agree more Chum.

  • gavin.lott.9 - 2012-07-30 11:28

    Noted! I'll wear my best pair of flip flops!

  • Gavin - 2012-07-30 11:31

    this from people who sentenced that piece of $hit child murderer in CT to 10 years ?? respect has to be earned...

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-30 11:33

    Please show me where it says one must wear a suit in a court of law. The courts are not there to dictate fashion trends, they're there to judge cases presented before them. Is what they're wearing going to influence the judges decision? If so they shouldn't be judges. Smacks of God-complex to me.

      uwe.klopfer - 2012-07-30 12:18

      lady justice is blind..unless you are wearing jeans ? What is being judged ? Evidence or dress code ?

      gerald.parker.9847 - 2012-07-30 16:43

      So what you are saying is that it is fine go go to work in any clothes in which one feels comfortable. Then why do lots of companies not allow jeans at work and who said that one has to wear a suit when one is in court.

  • kobus.duplooy.14 - 2012-07-30 11:39

    if our justice system wasn't such a circus, the people wouldn't dress like clowns..

  • dmutero1 - 2012-07-30 11:39

    Couldn't agree any less,you can't go 2 court wearing like a gangster for a white collar crime.Pple shuld be mre presentable,it can affect the judgment

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-30 16:11

      I have to agree with you to a point. A gangster on the stand will make a better impression on the judge if dressed smartly. But is making a bad guy look good any benefit for justice? If a judge's decision regarding a crime can be influenced by how a person is dressed, we have a serious problem with our legal system!!

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-07-30 11:53

    So if you cant afford to dress like he wants, then what, go Naked.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-30 12:17

      In some cases a pair of jeans, teeshirt and smart takkies can cost more than an entire suit and tie. Trust me, my suit is so old and bedraggled I'd look smarter in shorts and slipslops.

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-07-30 11:55

    i would imagine that many who have to appear in court do not own a suit or decent shoes. clothes are last on the list of monthly expenses for people battling financially. strange that so many comments tell white people to go back to Europe and take their westernised traditions with them, but the courts expect 'proper' clothing - what is wrong with jeans and a floral shirt - it's better than what could be (animal skins and beads).

  • mandy.ferreira.773 - 2012-07-30 12:13

    Most men who appear in court re: divorce proceedings have been taken to the cleaners by the ex-wife. How can you expect him to wear a suit......

  • uwe.klopfer - 2012-07-30 12:18

    lady justice is blind..unless you are wearing jeans ? What is being judged ? Evidence or dress code ?

  • gary.dalton.75286 - 2012-07-30 12:23

    My jeans, R650 Pair of Black pants, R160 Lets judge...uhm.....Jeans wins

  • ingwe - 2012-07-30 12:44

    So he who has not the means to dress like a toff will be refused justice?

      carla.vittori3 - 2012-07-30 14:12

      The judge did actually say that if there was a good reason they would be excused...

  • carla.vittori3 - 2012-07-30 14:11

    Appropriate dress code has always been insisted on by the courts in respect of advocates and attorneys - I've seen it happen that if you aren't dressed correctly the judge will refuse to see you or hear your matter simply because you're disrespecting him. I can understand that in respect of officers of the court who should be required to uphold a certain standard. But I'm not so sure about the public...

  • sibongile.makopi - 2012-07-30 14:21

    These judges have a "good sense of humour". Somehow there must be a difference between appearing in court and modelling. Perhaphs some of them have always aspired to be judges in a modelling contest.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-30 16:16

    I want to judge this voting thing on News24. Reading the comments re this article, 75% of readers are against a strict dress code in court. But the votes say the exact opposite ... whats up??

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