A range of "surreal" judicial wigs whose purpose is to "terrify and intimidate" those appearing before secret courts has been unveiled to Home Office ministers and high level Security Services personnel. The Home Office would neither confirm nor deny the wigs' existence, but sources inside the Ministry of Justice said the wigs were aimed at creating a sinister or "nightmarish" atmosphere in the courts.
"Traditionally those called to the bar wear wigs as a sign of uniformity impartiality and tradition. But imagine entering an English court of law, in which lawyers and judges are suited and gowned, but one has a larger than life Dolly Parton and another a big green Afro, or a semi plastic Roy Orbison or bald with thin combover and spindly moles," said one source close to the Security Services. "The effect will be dreamlike, unsettling and threatening. Beneath a Dusty Springfield or curly clown wig, lawyers of either sex will be solemn and businesslike. The urge to laugh and the fear impulse will combine to create the disorienting effect we need in our guilty defendants. "
Perhaps surprisingly, one effect of the wigs would be to bolster secrecy, according to the source. "Imagine emerging from the court, whose very existence is usually denied, and telling people you were tried by an elderly man in a Jesse J. People would simply not believe you."
Police officers serving the secret courts have rejected chest wig proposals, even if worn under uniforms. "and just peeping through"