Posing for a photo shoot are these two officers of the court, Aussie barristers, sisters in fact, working in our common law adversarial system.
Because they conduct their practice almost entirely in the criminal courts they dress in the court regalia of the black robe/la robe noir, bar jacket, jabot & the ‘powdered’ wig, la perruque ‘poudree ‘
Not only are the ladies blessed with great legal ability, they are at the top of their profession.
Known as the lady lawyers they are generally accessible with or without an appointment. They disdain appointments, don’t demand them, as one or both of them is usually around if you just happen to drop in. Walk-ins welcome!
They believe that when somebody is in trouble, whether facing going to prison or not, a fair trial is paramount and a part of getting a fair trial is ease of access to the lawyer.
Trust me, this shoot wasn’t plain sailing. I had to coax & beg ces avocates to robe, stay still, to pose, and look like the counsel, the criminal defence & human rights lawyers they are, the true & serious fighters for justice they are.
I said, “Look professional, legalistic, intellectual, just as you are everyday in the court room, fighting for those in need, the powerless, the underdog . . . fighting against the power of the State”
I was lucky to get the ladies to stay still for much more than a few minutes.
“Hurry up we’ll be late” they grumbled, somewhat urgently, irritated “we have our clients evidence to complete”
“We can’t be late. Oh, no, not when we’re appearing before the most learned boss himself, that feisty ol’ ogre, Judge Horace Bumblesinner! “C’mon, we have to go! He’ll be all over us!” Being late even a minute or two, especially if he has had a bad morning himself, means he’ll pounce on everyone in sight especially us, the lawyers, as we are in plain sight, easy targets. Ugh! Hell hath no fury with Judge Bumblesinner.
We expect our opening arguments to be punctuated with all sorts of interjections from the bench. Even though he knows we are always well prepared, have researched and read the case law, the statutes, he will pepper us with silly, distracting, discouraging remarks & interjections just because he can. We are always ready though. Can’t let the likes of him tie us up in knots, intimidate us, distract us from the issues at hand!
Anyway, and most importantly, it is for the Prosecution to prove their case. It is not for our client to prove his innocence but for the Prosecution to prove his guilt.”
How is truth ascertained in the adversarial & inquisitorial justice systems? What is the difference between each system’s perception of how truth is best arrived at?
The basic idea underlying the adversarial system is that truth is best discovered by allowing parties who allege conflicting versions of what happened (or of what the law is) each to present, in its strongest possible form, their own version of the truth, and leave it to an impartial third party to decide which version more nearly approximates to the truth.
An insquisitorial system depends much more on the third party making investigations and, by questioning each of the parties and other relevant persons, deciding where the truth lies.
Nude or black stockings, hose.
The images give you some insight into how lawyers dress for courts in Australia, in particular, here in the state of South Australia.