Part 5, Chapter 3, of the RoP UPC, 18th draft (15 March 2017), deals with “Rights and obligations of representatives”. However, there are [understandably] no provisions on “court dress code”, only a referral to “any code of conduct adopted for such representatives by the Administrative Committee” [Rule 290(2)].
The draft Code of Conduct adopted by the Preparatory Committee mentions a dress code as follows: “Finally, we note that once decided for the judges, some provision on the dress code for Representatives should be added to avoid possible discrimination.”
We have been told that a blue robe as a dress code for the judges has been proposed.
In some countries, e.g. France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, representatives wear robes. In some countries, representatives do not wear robes.
For the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Rule 4 of the Rules of Procedure for the CJEU provides as follows: “The persons called upon to present oral argument before the Court, irrespective of their qualifications or the capacity in which they are called upon, are required to wear gowns. Where a hearing is organised, agents and lawyers taking part in that hearing are therefore requested to provide their own gowns; the Court has a number of plain gowns available for parties or representatives who have none.”
One of the main historic reasons why lawyers should wear robes is that the appearance of the lawyer should not be relevant, but only the statements that the lawyer makes.
EPLIT would appreciate having the views of the membership on this question.