Chief Justice Luke Malaba has reportedly banned colourful attire, tight-fitting and body-hugging clothes and regulated that female lawyers wear at least knee-length skirts or skirts with hems not more than 3cms above the knee when appearing before Magistrates, the Chronicle reports.
This was contained in Practice Direction 6 of 2020 (dress code for legal practitioners appearing in the Magistrates Courts) which reportedly takes effect on 1 July. Practice Direction reads in part:
Recognising the need to uphold decorum and protecting the dignity of all courts, counsel are expected to demonstrate good judgment and professional taste in their court attire. In this regard, legal practitioners are required to ensure that their attire is appropriate and in accordance with this practice direction whenever they appear in the Magistrates Courts
Only the following colours shall be appropriate and permissible, suit colours shall be black, navy blue or dark grey. These colours shall be solid or lightly striped. Inner shirts must be white, navy blue or dark grey.
At all appearances except open court, male counsel shall wear neckties. The ties must not contain distractingly bright colours
When inner shirts, blouses or body tops are worn, these must be of acceptable colours which shall be solid or lightly striped. Blouses must be closed at the neck.
Skirts must at least be knee length or not more than three centimetres above the knee. Tight fitting and body-hugging attire is not permissible. Shoes worn by all counsel must be black, dark grey or brown and closed. For female counsel, sling back shoes with closed fronts may be worn. Open toe or peep-toe shoes and sandals are not allowed,
Jewellery that is extravagant or excessive should be avoided. Eyebrow rings and nose rings are not permissible in court appearances. Where hosiery is worn, it must be plain. Fish net or other patterned hosiery is not permissible
Shirts must be plain white, collared and buttoned. Counsel must ensure that at all times gowns are properly fitted and not hanging loosely off the shoulder. Counsel are not permitted to robe and disrobe in the courtroom while the court is in session