LGBT barristers were denied permission to wear their court uniforms at Dublin’s Pride March last Saturday, it has been revealed.
The Bar Council of Ireland made the controversial decision, telling that wearing court attire outside of the workplace for any reason is not permitted, despite this not being in line with the Code of Conduct.
While it is common to see barristers in wigs, tabs and gowns on the streets around the courts and travelling on the Luas between the Four Courts and the Criminal Court of Justice, a gay Dublin-based barrister who will remain unnamed told The Outmost, “It’s one of this things that people want to be outraged about, but as far as I know there have always been restrictions on wearing the gowns outside of court, I don’t know why…it’s a typical Irish rule”.
The decision leaves Irish barristers a step behind those in the UK, where The Bar Council has supported LGBT employees marching in court attire for the last five years.
The Code of Conduct is somewhat of a voluntary code as opposed to one bound in law, but rather tradition, meaning barristers could essentially ignore the Code – a decision that could result in being barred from the Law Library of Ireland.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.