When I appear in the Superior Court of Justice, I wear my tabs, waistcoat, and robes. The dress code in the Ontario Court of Justice allows for a bit more creativity, but males are expected to wear a suit and tie. The same cannot be said for accused persons, whose mode of dress vary widely. While I would not expect a Judge to ever hold ones dress against them when making a decision, there is a certain level of respect that should be shown to a court – and I say this fully aware that the right to freedom of speech and expression should extend to how one dresses.
An Illinois sheriff has actually set regulations on what can be worn in the courthouse he supervises. As explained in this article from the ABA Journal:
Sheriff Roger Mulch has announced dress requirements for the Jefferson County Courthouse that take effect on Aug. 19, reports KFVS12.
Visitors should not come to the courthouse wearing: cut-offs; shorts; house slippers; tank tops; muscle shirts; halter tops; mesh shirts; hats or do-rags; pajama tops or bottoms; and clothing with inappropriate or offensive logos, pictures or writing.
Clothing should also be worn correctly and as designed, Mulch says.
This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman. Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.