What’s the meaning of the different-coloured sashes I see judges wearing?
What’s the meaning of the different-coloured sashes I see judges wearing? And why do some lawyers wear robes and others don’t?— Brooke Holtz, SwanSea
f you’re out judge-spotting at the corner of Queen and University, it helps to remember their distinctive features. In Ontario, the colour of sash that judges wear with their black robes denotes the type of court over which they preside: green for justices of the peace, scarlet for provincial court judges, burgundy for justices of the Ontario Superior Court and Court of Appeal. For the avid spotter, rarer breeds in these parts include the golden-sashed Federal Court justice, the purple-sashed Tax Court judge, and the highly elusive fur-lined, red-robed justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. There are only nine left in the wild, and they’re not breeding. As for the common Ontario lawyer, you’ll see them in robes only when they’re appearing in Superior Court or the Court of Appeal, or being called to the bar. The garb—a remnant of the U.K. legal system—isn’t cheap (between $600 and $1,000), but it is custom-made and available in polyester, wool or a blend.