Is this sexism in court?

June 27th, 2012 at 4:48 pm by David Farrar

Photo by Heather du Plessis-Allen Soper

Journalist was evicted from the media bench at the Scott Guy trial because some bureaucrat deemed her Pants unsuitable.

Is this in the courts? I’ve been on a media bench in jeans at court. Would a guy have been kicked off for his choice of leg wear? Plus what does it matter, as you are sitting down and no one sees your legs anyway unless they are deliberately perving?

Or do people think the Registrar was correct? That court is no place for anything shiny?

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135 Responses to “Is this sexism in court?”

  1. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    Well, in my view there should be a (reasonably high) standard of dress required. But if a man is allowed in jeans, then she should be allowed in those.

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  2. Roflcopter (467 comments) says:

    There’s a disco in the courtroom?

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  3. dubya (245 comments) says:

    She’s not half bad. Let me guess, she isn’t one of the journos who has Labour Party aspirations?

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  4. JC (948 comments) says:

    {Deleted by DPF, and demerits for any future comments like that. If you can not say anything nice, don’t say it]

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  5. alex Masterley (1,535 comments) says:

    I think the registrar was correct.
    It’s a murder trial in the High Court, not fashion week.
    A high standard of dress is expected even from journos.

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  6. tas (655 comments) says:

    I don’t think courtrooms should be overly formal. Lawyers might like to dress up, but tough, the courts belong to the people, not the lawyers. The attire is perfectly appropriate.

    Probably some stupid bureaucrat pushing his or her weight around by kicking someone out. The person responsible should be named and shamed.

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  7. first time caller (370 comments) says:

    Never mind the pants, what’s the girl doing in open toed shoes in the middle of winter? Put on some socks girl, for goodness sake!

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  8. Bob R (1,420 comments) says:

    ***I’ve been on a media bench in jeans at court. ***

    Yeah, those aren’t jeans though. I suspect you would (or should) have been kicked out if you were wearing those. The Court should have some reasonable standards.

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  9. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    I would also expect that a male dressed in such awful things would be thrown out as well……..

    [deleted by DPF]

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  10. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    I would expect a reasonable standard of dress in a court room but she actually looks quite stylish. So I can’t really see what the problem is! I’d let her into my court room :-)

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  11. pedrogarcia (53 comments) says:

    Bottom line – dress like a professional if working in court. Great pants, but they don’t meet the test.

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  12. Longknives (4,953 comments) says:

    As a journalist (by trade..) I would imagine a reasonable standard of dress is required for a High Court trial-
    It’s not a bloody roller disco…

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  13. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    A perfectly reasonable decision by the Registrar. A high standard of dress is required for those attending. Especially as journalists are often given prominent and highly visible places in the court, often in front of the bar.

    Male journalists usually wear a suit and tie. Female journalists should likewise show respect for the Court and dress appropriately

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  14. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Tas,

    Don’t be an idiot. Go and find out what we are obliged to wear when in Court. It is not because we ‘want to dress up’, but that we are required to show proper respect while in Court.

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  15. Eisenhower (137 comments) says:

    Have you seen some of the scum that inhabit the public gallery? She is a paragon of sartorial virtue in comparison.

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  16. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Deleted by DPF … If you can not say anything nice, don’t say it

    I’m surprised your new comments’ policy didn’t warrant a post of its own, DPF!

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  17. unaha-closp (1,067 comments) says:

    Here is a family that has lost a son, who has supposedly been murdered by his sisters husband. This trial is extremely traumatic for the family.

    What is most appropriate in the circumstances? Something somber? Or something skintight, gold and sparkly?

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  18. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I would give her the arse if she turned up to interview me at work dressed like that, it’s not casual Friday so definitely not at Court,

    – I’d be very surprised if she would be allowed into the press gallery at Parliament dressed in that manner.

    Very libertarian of you David but she’s way to casual for a supposed profession.

    [DPF: I’m pretty sure she would be allowed into the press gallery, considering she has worked there for a few years!]

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  19. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    ‘Pants’ are what one hopes she was wearing underneath those knock shop knickerbockers.

    Of course she should have been thrown out and so should you.

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  20. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    I sincerely hope that this was playing as she entered the court.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2crtEeT69nc

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  21. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    That is a good point PaulEB.

    DPF, would that attire be ok in the press gallery at Parliament?

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  22. Nookin (3,557 comments) says:

    Putting aside respect for the decorum of the court, one would have thought she would have been alert to the feelings of the victim’s family. Question: would she have worn that to a funeral?

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  23. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    I think it’s more a case of “officious little shits” rather than a case of sexism.

    I heard NZ courts have a huge backlog of work, if they waste time on trivialities like this then it’s no wonder.

    I wonder if the problem was that the pants are skinny, or that they are sparkly, or both?

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  24. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    Why am I not surprised? To think she has most likely had formal “journalism” training. Once upon a time a school leaver newby trainee would not have been so dumb!
    Sign of the times.
    And now she’s a victim!
    Courts are meant to be serious,respectful,even sombre places. What was she thinking?

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  25. calendar girl (1,258 comments) says:

    Her dress sense tends to match the hyping of this particular trial by our sensationalist media. It’s the biggest show in town, the latest effort by “journalists” to emphasise selected bits of evidence that they think might point in the direction of a particular verdict. Pathetic. Let the judge, jury and counsel do their jobs, and the witnesses do their duty under the law. Then, after the trial is over, the media can pick over every shocking, salacious and sentimental detail until its appetite for sensation is satiated.

    If Ms McQuillan must wear niteclub attire, let her go to a niteclub. The High Court is not an appropriate place for third party attention grabbers. (Even those, like her, who are capable of gracing an outfit like that. In the right environment she would look sensational!)

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  26. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    oh yeh RRM this will really create a fucken backlog……you are such a dick.

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  27. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    On a slightly related note – my old man said he always wears his very best suit whenever he’s called up for jury service.

    He finds it interesting to see how far he can get from the door across the room to the jury seats before the defense lawyer calls “challenge” and he gets to go home for the day. In the Rotorua courts the defense lawyers quite clearly prefer anyone BUT a well-dressed white guy on the jury…

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  28. Peter (1,694 comments) says:

    I don’t think she should be thrown out of court. The court should welcome the fashions of Wainuiomata/Hutt Valley.

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  29. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Calendar Girl:
    yes because no woman has ever dressed in a manner likely to grab attention before. This journalist is doing something new and unusual.

    Kowtow:
    I see your argument contains a lot of swear words – you must really know what you’re talking about. :-)

    http://www.thelolshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/20120625-195501.jpg

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  30. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    RRM

    I can verify everything you say about Rotorua, a conservative white male in appearance is challenged by the defence as he drives down Fenton Street to Court

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  31. jams (48 comments) says:

    Heh, I’d say send the fashion police in, give her a ticket for ignoring the “Leggings aren’t Pants” rule

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  32. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    You may not have been ousted for wearing jeans but see how long you last in court in gold Lycra tights.
    Second thoughts
    Let’s not

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  33. Whaleoil (650 comments) says:

    You could test if there is sexism David easily. You could wear the same pants to court and see what happens.

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  34. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    RRM
    you said “shit” first.

    Besides I’ve read of court cases where the learned judge has refused to find fault with ne’erdowells who said “fuck Off’ to members of the constabulary.

    So in the context of what’s acceptable or unacceptable in Her Majestys ‘ courtrooms these days I respectfully repeat my fuck off to you and yours. :)

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  35. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    She’s so purty.
    Agreed with @ Calendar Girl. This is probably only slightly less dressy than parliamentary attire donned by todays’ anchors. As a trainee journo I remember being told to “dress for court”. Stockings and a skirt or a “woman” suit were deemed appropriate.

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  36. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Mind you I also remember having to evacuate the court for a “shit slinger” – a person on trial who liked to throw their poo. So it does seem to be a bit nit-picky in light of the variables encountered in court.

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  37. Mr_Blobby (207 comments) says:

    Well said RRM

    Look at the ridiculous kit that the lawyers and judges like to wear just to make themselves fell important.

    No the Court registrar should be concentrating on his/her job not acting like the moral police.

    “The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

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  38. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    FE Smith>A high standard of dress is required for those attending.

    So who has decided what constitutes a high standard of dress? What criteria did they apply? Presumably this was decided objectively, rather than by referencing fashion standards used 30 or 40 years ago.

    I had to visit parliament as part of a job induction a few years ago. We sat in the gallery for a while. One of the ushers wouldn’t let me in because I wasn’t wearing a jacket. But, as I pointed out, I WAS wearing a jacket. A ski jacket. Apparently not all jackets are equal, and men mustn’t be allowed to watch politicians unless they are dressed in the sort of jacket that was fashionable business attire about 30 years ago and which is still popular with lawyers and some bankers. They loaned me a qualifying jacket. It didn’t fit. So I sat there looking like an arse with sleeves about half way up to my elbows. I have no idea how this enhanced the dignity of parliament, but we actually employ a group of old men to enforce this sort of arbitrary rule. Both at parliament, and in the courts it seems.

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  39. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    davidp

    Well I hope you enjoyed your induction and have a job waiting for you when you leave school.

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  40. Richard Hurst (885 comments) says:

    Gold shiny tight pants in court at a murder trial? Yeah…no..not on.

    tog..togs..togs..undies

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  41. Keeping Stock (9,373 comments) says:

    @ RRM (5.45pm) – tried that once. Not only ended up on the jury, but as I was the only one dressed remotely professionally, they made me the bloody foreman as well!

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  42. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    It’s just idiotic to think that sparkly gold pants are suitable for a murder trial.

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  43. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    davip,

    what PaulEB said. But, to explain, the Courtroom is a place where the Queen’s justice is dispensed. The judge occupies the place of the monarch in deciding cases that are brought before the Court. The Court is not a place of business.

    However, just so that know, fashion is not taken into account when setting courtroom dress. At the very least, formal (as opposed to casual) business attire is required, and on formal occasions we wear what is known as ‘full court dress’, which involves a wig, barristers bands, a wing collar shirt and, if you have it, a barristers jacket and trousers. Allowing lawyers to wear just a business suit in the summary jurisdiction is an allowance made for convenience only. Prior to the modern business suit becoming the standard for everyday formal wear, the Morning suit was worn, but the principle is the same. In the higher jurisdictions we still wear a gown as well. That ‘fashion’, if you want to describe it as such, goes back to before 1400, with the current judicial formal dress being formalised in 1635. Our High Court judges simply wear a variant of the judicial robes from that time, although the wigs came along about 50 years later.

    As I said, fashion has nothing to do with it. And certainly not the fashion of 30 or 40 years ago.

    EDIT:”not acting like the moral police”

    really? What do you think the Court is doing in a criminal trial?

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  44. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    Do these pants come in your size David? I would like to see you wearing them down the backbenchers tonight… Send them off in style.

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  45. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    I hereby dub this #pantgate …

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  46. Manolo (14,166 comments) says:

    Some people will never learn how to dress properly. She’s one of them.

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  47. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    PEB>Well I hope you enjoyed your induction and have a job waiting for you when you leave school

    I didn’t stay long with the public service. I’m currently the NZ rep for a US multinational. I don’t own a jacket of the type required to sit in the parliamentary gallery. So I don’t wear one to work. Nor do any of my customers. Nor do most of my overseas-based management. So I’m curious about what you do that you’d only hire a person wearing a suit. Are you a funeral director or something? Trust me, outside your funeral direction world the rest of us dress casually these days. It’s been that way for at least 20 years.

    FE Smith>and on formal occasions we wear what is known as ‘full court dress’

    I couldn’t care how you dress. I just think it is strange that there are arbitrary rules dictating what people wear while they watch you.

    I like the dress code posted at the entrance to the NT Parliament. You must wear a minimum of a top (note: not a shirt), shorts, and thongs. That takes care of cleanliness… the rest is a matter of taste.

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  48. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    I don’t go along with the disco leggings & I fully appreciate that a G string & jandals approach to dress demeans the solemnity normally associated with a High Court trial. Do you, however, consider that justice is better served by having those in charge of events wearing the attire which would have been modern seven centuries ago?

    I don’t have a fixed opinion on the desirability or otherwise of wigs, gowns & such but don’t you think that they might move justice even further from the comprehension of the participants & public than it has to be?

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  49. Mr_Blobby (207 comments) says:

    F E Smith you sound like a pompous twat.
    Does a “full court dress” help you feel important, what a load of old 1400 – 1635 Bollocks. Followed by a wig 50 years later.

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  50. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    davidp, surely they make you were a uniform flipping burgers at McDonalds :)

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  51. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Mmmmm, nice. I plead “guilty as charged” to perving…… ;)

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  52. slightlyright (94 comments) says:

    It is a Court and it is before one of the Queen’s judges, if I have to manage a dark suit, tie and white shirt together with a heavy robe, surely churnalists can manage sober smart casual. They are pretty relaxed now one used to get kicked out for brown shoes “I can’t see you Mr …..” though that particular lawyer got his own back when out jogging early and coming across the judge in his dressing gown getting the paper and retorting “I’m sorry I can’t see you your honour” or so the urban legend goes

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  53. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    Perhaps she simply stopped out last night and didn’t have time to go home and get changed this morning.

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  54. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Well spotted Rightnow, the walk of shame at 10.00am

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  55. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    At the very least she should have been arrested for a crime against fashion.

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  56. adze (2,130 comments) says:

    I don’t think it’s sexism, it’s a pretty “out there” choice of clothes for court, even if it does (presumably) reflect her personality. Mind you, that guy Moody came to court in a frilly milk maid outfit as a protest – maybe the rules are different for defendants?

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  57. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Peter suggests:

    I don’t think she should be thrown out of court. The court should welcome the fashions of Wainuiomata/Hutt Valley.

    Even in Wainui those pants would mark you out as a slapper. Adidas tracksuit pants, on the other hand, being mostly black, are considered formal attire.

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  58. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Its is quite clearly sexist. One only needs to follow the above thread and see all the pompous pricks commenting. Full of your own self importance.
    Nothing distasteful about the dress. Not everyones cup of tea, but don’t forget all the transvestities etal that go to court in much flashier cloths than that.
    On the other side of the dress sense FES you should be aware that courts really only became like they are during the Victorian era when suits were the drerss of they day because that’s all that was imported to our colony. One could look back a bit and find court rooms were full of scruffy rabble because that’s all people had and they lived in rough times

    F E Smith (1,840) Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    But, to explain, the Courtroom is a place where the Queen’s justice is dispensed. The judge occupies the place of the monarch in deciding cases that are brought before the Court. The Court is not a place of business.

    Yes it is, its in the business of a certain profession extracting coin whilst advocating for one side or another in front of either a judge or a group of referee’s.

    I guess you would be all advocating for the type of gear the she/he lawyer from Chen and Co who was parading around in her John Key suit and Tony Ryall tie on the telly this morning. Oh she was complete with face piercings et al.

    Sexist you all undoubtably are. Sexist sterotyping .

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  59. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Actually its worse than that.
    Its discrimination, as there are no rules laid down for most people entering a court room.
    The Lady would be justified in going to the appropriate Tribunal.

    Surley the test should be wether the young Lady was competent at her job and exhibited proper correct and polite nehavoir towards others.
    In terms of dressing her clothing was not offensive, out ther yes but caused no harm to anyone unless of course the Judge and various other memebers of the court and legal profession are perverted to the extent that they spent their time perving at her.
    Being lawyers it certainly possible that was the case and so they were distracted from what they were being paid to do.
    No other answer really.

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  60. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    V2

    She wasn’t in the public gallery, she wasn’t appearing the dock, she was in the press gallery which in most Courts is very close to the defendant, a place where they don’t have to sit with the riff raff

    I would also presume that journalists who are allowed into the press gallery have a dress code and their editors and they would be aware of this.

    She wasn’t arsed on the deputy registrar taking a arbitary dislike to her strides, she will have failed to comply with guidelines

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  61. Leaping Jimmy (16,682 comments) says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the first thing she does when she’s kicked out, knowing this is going to cost her the ability to do her job properly and thus get a somewhat negative outlook from the sub-editor when s/he finds out, is to get a photo snapped by one of her mates and then spread the photo round to likely pundits in the hope of finding someone naive enough to call it sexist without her having to say that herself, out loud.

    It’s a shame the same allegation isn’t immediately available to we blokes when that sort of things happens, isn’t it. Is that sexist do you think – that women can allege sexism much more easily than males can?

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  62. swan (665 comments) says:

    What a bunch of fuddy duddys you lot are. They are pants. They cover her legs. Get over it.

    There is nothing “professional” about dressing in a particular way. Professionalism is about integrity, adhering to an ethical standard, and delivering quality output.

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  63. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    and V2 for a man with your will listed dislike of the cops and Courts etc, here you are recommending she go off to a tribunal for formalized justice almost as asinine as Redbaiter having the banner on his blog a quote from George Orwell that well known Tory

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  64. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    swan

    ..ethical standard, and delivering quality output… you are talking about the media, right?

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  65. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    blobby,rrm,davidp

    Then what to do with this?
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Olympic-cloak-prepared-for-ceremony/tabid/415/articleID/258317/Default.aspx

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  66. Michael (913 comments) says:

    Didn’t realise the Registrar was also the Fashion Police. Perhaps if she had just done black on black like every other woman she’d be fine, nothing wrong with a bit of colour.

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  67. Chuck Bird (4,892 comments) says:

    I wonder what the judge would say if she was the defendant.

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  68. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Chuck,

    Not even the doziest defence lawyer would let his client turn up to the High Court wearing K Rd working girl pants

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  69. Steve (North Shore) (4,536 comments) says:

    The Court bureaucrat has a problem. Prob some bull dyke lesbian who would just love to look good in tight gold slacks. Or a rainbow guy who thinks he is better in tight gold pants. It has jelousy written all over it.
    Sad minds, just a sheila in nice clothing, big fucking deal

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  70. Chuck Bird (4,892 comments) says:

    I am a bit long sighted. If I was the Registrar I think it would be a bit embarrassing to check that her photo matched her face.

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  71. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    V2,

    What PaulEB said at 7.28.

    Also the robes and wigs have been around a lot longer than the Victorian era. The move to barristers dress occurred then, but the point is that formal business attire is the minimum standard.

    And anyone who wants to represent themselves in court is more than able to do so, so don’t bitch about us providing a service that nobody is forcing you to use.

    EDIT: Steve, I would kick her out, and I am not a lesbian. You seem to not be aware of how seriously the court staff take their jobs, which includes ensuring that proper attire is worn in court. Next you will be saying that it is acceptable to wear hats in the courtroom, or perhaps use a cellphone in one?

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  72. swan (665 comments) says:

    “proper attire”

    Are they trained in the use of a colour palette?

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  73. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    davidp at 6:49 pm

    Why am I not surprised about your lack of a jacket……..

    The great US multinationals bought in the Casual Friday idea – and now thats sort of developed into a full casual week.

    Frankly all that “casual friday” dress standard bought in was that it was OK to look like s slob – and being from the US its a fat slob. I used to work for one of them. He came infridays looking like a stuffed pig in an eleastic sleeve. Everyone thought he was a fool.

    This so called reporter looks like a thin slob.

    Why people insist on forcing their ideas onto other I dont know – but they all react when they have to meet other peoples standards.
    Its called respect – if you dont like them, then go into some other endeavor where its Ok to look like a slob.

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  74. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    adze said:

    I don’t think it’s sexism, it’s a pretty “out there” choice of clothes for court, even if it does (presumably) reflect her personality. Mind you, that guy Moody came to court in a frilly milk maid outfit as a protest – maybe the rules are different for defendants?

    ————-

    I think Rob Moody just enjoys wearing skirts. He recently changed his name via deedpoll to “Miss Alice”.

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  75. Steve (North Shore) (4,536 comments) says:

    I knew I would get a bit F E Smith. I was waiting for the jelous to respond.

    The Court does deserve respect but who draws the line, and who are they to do so? Who says it is not good attire and only slappers dress like that? Who gave them that authority?

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  76. cmondaisy (1 comment) says:

    Great pants! Miss McQuillan would never wear tights as pants so lets get that straight first of all. Not sure they were the wisest choice but I most definately don’t see anything wrong with her choice of formal attire. They may be gold and bold but they cover everything that needs to be covered, they’re tidy and most importantly, she was to be seated with her legs beneath a table anyway! Surely there are worse things that could be worn to the high court than a pair of gold pants!

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  77. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    I think she’s a ‘look at me’ jerk.

    I wonder if the traditional dress in the Court of the Cryer (if they still exist,) the Registrar etc, along with the Judge and lawyers is to be seen as not imposing themselves in any way other than as the servants of Justice. I think it must be something along those lines and not in the direction of celebrity of some sort wearing flash pants.

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  78. wf (482 comments) says:

    If you wear sparkly stuff at 10 am on the job, what do you dress up in in the evening when you want to impress the boyfriend?
    I’m inclined to agree with Rightnow @ 7.06. She didn’t have time to go home and change.

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  79. swan (665 comments) says:

    “Why people insist on forcing their ideas onto other I dont know”

    Pardon? Who is forcing their idea onto who? I dont think the woman in the photo was doing any forcing.

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  80. calendar girl (1,258 comments) says:

    RRM @ 5.47: “yes because no woman has ever dressed in a manner likely to grab attention before. This journalist is doing something new and unusual.”

    You’re being deliberately obtuse. Nobody’s against women dressing to grab attention, certainly not me – as you can see from my earlier comment. The debate is about the place, i.e. the appropriateness of this person’s attire for a designated media representative in the specially-designated media bench of the High Court. I regard her niteclub outfit as rather disrespectful to the Court. But then, I wouldn’t expect you to approve respect being shown to anyone. You and I just have different standards.

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  81. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    FE Smith>Next you will be saying that it is acceptable to wear hats in the courtroom

    And why wouldn’t it be? A hat is a bit of material that covers the top of your head. I am stumped about how the presence or absence of a hat could have any effect what so ever on the administration of the law. Especially when you’ve mentioned wigs in this thread, so you’re saying that hats are unacceptable, but hats with fake hair attached are okay. We’re getting in to bizarro world here.

    PEB>She wasn’t arsed on the deputy registrar taking a arbitary dislike to her strides, she will have failed to comply with guidelines

    So either the registrar was acting like a nightclub bouncer enforcing arbitrary rules based on the management’s personal taste. Or there are proper written guidelines, as you say. Can anyone point me to a copy? They must be on the web somewhere because people would need to check their own clothes against the guidelines before turning up to a court. I’d be even more interested in seeing any policy documents that explain how the guidelines were developed. There must have been some sort of evaluation of various clothing options in order to work out which ones enhanced the court system, and which ones didn’t.

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  82. pw (19 comments) says:

    mumble pants much
    https://twitter.com/#!/mcquillanatorz/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Finstagr.am%2Fp%2FMWZqCsRJsn%2F

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  83. dime (10,212 comments) says:

    Sexist?

    If dime rocked up to court in a dress and was kicked out would it be a sexist act? FFS

    Im sure the family of the deceased appreciated someone turning up looking like they are going clubbing.

    Maybe tomorrow she can try a cocktail dress? A wedding dress? Daisy dukes?

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  84. mikenmild (12,340 comments) says:

    If the court has dress standards that it makes public and is prepared to apply consistently then that should be no problem. It’s a bit ridiculous to kick her out and let DPF who is, let us say, a little less ornamental, in.

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  85. iMP (2,455 comments) says:

    Should All Blacks be allowed to wear Wallaby Jersey’s during test matches and sparkly shorts? It’s about context and appropriateness, like the dweebs who wear baseball caps and denim shorts to funerals. Support the Registrar, this was disrespectful to the Guy family and the somber formality of the court.

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  86. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    swan>Pardon? Who is forcing their idea onto who? I dont think the woman in the photo was doing any forcing.

    I think it is an Islamic thing he is getting at. She is forcing men to look at her legs, and therefore she is responsible for their evil thoughts and any evil acts they may carry out as a result. The only solution is that all women should wear a burka in court.

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  87. MT_Tinman (3,315 comments) says:

    If that’s her working clobber just what is her main job?

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  88. dime (10,212 comments) says:

    Some of you people bang on about how people have no morals anymore, no respect etc but when it comes to a dress code in the high court you’re against it. The high court! If ya can’t respect that then you’re a jerk off

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  89. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    But then, I wouldn’t expect you to approve respect being shown to anyone. You and I just have different standards.

    Me-ow!

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  90. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    davidp,

    try here

    So you can see that the journalist knew better.

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  91. Steve (North Shore) (4,536 comments) says:

    Barry loves the attention, showing of to the media

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  92. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Oh, and the removal of a hat is a sign of respect for the judge and the dignity of the Court. Just like you remove your hat when you are introduced to the Sovereign. It is courtesy, although you would appear not to understand that.

    And a wig is not a ‘hat with fake hair’. It is neither a hat, nor is the hair fake.

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  93. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    You are quite right F E Smith.
    She maybe suitably and professionally attired – but not for attendance at Her Majesty’s Court.
    I think its another profession she is attired for.

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  94. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    As ‘MT_Tinman’ has already noted…..if that is professional dress then it wouldn’t necessarily lead one to associate her with journalism. Still & all such garb would allow her to blend in with that other profession you have when you’re not a professional.

    People might mistake her for a teacher!

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  95. swan (665 comments) says:

    F E Smith,

    I think your link is wrong, it just says something about being “suitably and professionally dressed”. Subjective much?

    What is it to be “professionally dressed”. I must confess I am an amateur when it comes to dressing myself. Experienced, but not educated in the practice.

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  96. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    F E Smith said:

    And a wig is not a ‘hat with fake hair’. It is neither a hat, nor is the hair fake.

    ————-

    Quite right! Unless things have changed recently then the wigs are still made from horse hair.

    In other words, the stuff that grows beside a horse’s arsehole.

    Which seems appropriate given that a lawyer’s words often appear to come from that very same part of the equine anatomy.

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  97. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    I think DPF is just trying to get into the good books of a slim young reporter.

    [DPF: Good books? I suspect Laura is going to ambush me with a shotgun, the next time she sees me!]

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  98. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    It’s been said better a couple of times in this thread, but I’m going to say it again.

    It’s a fucking MURDER trial!

    Look, I’m all for a glimpse of shiny gold camel-toe, but seriously. What the hell was she thinking?!

    They’re only the press, so I’d think jeans was okay if they’re tucked out of the way somewhere… but this!

    Here’s a guide that might help Laura (who might lack some common sense) in her future court-reporting career:
    * Trousers – okay. Glitter leggings – not okay.
    * Blouse – okay. Bikini top – not okay.
    * Sensible dress – okay. Dominatrix outfit – not okay.

    Wear that latter choices wherever else you like, she can wear them to her grandmother’s funeral if she wants. But to wear it to a trial like this is insensitive. It’s not sexist.

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  99. landoftime (36 comments) says:

    Her trousers are inappropriate for court. I am glad she got asked to leave. It is great to know that reasonable dress is enforced. Court is not a dance party – it is your job! Raise your standards!!

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  100. Redbaiter (10,398 comments) says:

    Sexism is a Marxist concept designed to divide and destablilize our society.

    Just one of many.

    No self respecting right winger buys into the concept.

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  101. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    swan, at 8:13 pm, Says:

    Pardon? Who is forcing their idea onto who? I dont think the woman in the photo was doing any forcing.

    Surely you are not that short sighted….
    She is saying that she wants the court to accept her standard of dress, and shes complaining because they wont. Not only does she not want to comply with the court rules – she wants to imopose her standards on the court. I guess shes a court reporter and she must know that she wont succeed.

    the headline implies that shes a reporter – you know someone who is supposed to be able to see whats going on and to report on the proceedings in a balanced way with an open mind. She must have missed the parts of the training course that covered the need to fit in with the surroundings (no – not to necessarily agree with them – but as part of her job its necessary to comply with some rules on some ocassions to be able to fill her job requirements). Shes supposedly not just any old Mary Smith – shes supposed to have a trained newsmedia brain and should be able to see the full situation.
    Ill bet youd squeal if someone went onto a marae and ignored protocol. If you dont wnat to comply – then dont go. But this ‘reporter’ should know better.

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  102. mikenmild (12,340 comments) says:

    Well spotted Redbaiter! Beware the communist plot of letting women wear trousers.

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  103. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (717 comments) says:

    Oh FFS

    the reporter went to represent her media organisation at a High Court murder trial dressed like a slapper. even in upper hutt and wainui we understand that there are dress codes. Dressing in gold sparkly stretch tights is not really good form when you are sitting amongst people who have had a loved one murdered, and a spouse and brother accused of murder.

    What was she thinking?

    Oh thats right she is a modern media woman, she was thinking, why dont they all look at me!

    QED

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  104. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (717 comments) says:

    I note the picture you used was taken in Parliament, guess they have lowered their standards for the media too.

    I employ professionals, dressed like that her interview would be fairly short. Much like a career in dead tree media it seems.

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  105. swan (665 comments) says:

    “Ill bet youd squeal if someone went onto a marae and ignored protocol.”

    You would lose the bet. I couldnt care less. But there is a bit of a difference – a marae (I assume) is private property, whereas a court is an institution of the State. Churches, maraes and golf courses can make up all the silly rules they want, but the State’s institutions need to be objective in their dealings with the public.

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  106. GPT1 (2,021 comments) says:

    Quite right. It’s a High Court trial and the media seem to expect to sit in court not the public gallery so they can dress appropriately. Male counsel have been sent home from the high court for wearing colored shirts so hardly sexism.

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  107. mikenmild (12,340 comments) says:

    There can be as many stupid rules as the judges want to boost their self-esteem, so long as the rules are publicised and applied fairly. So does DPF get to wear jeans into court but this girly gets sent home to change?

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  108. swan (665 comments) says:

    “It’s a High Court trial and the media seem to expect to sit in court not the public gallery so they can dress appropriately.”

    Well if it is the case that she could have just gone and sat in the public gallery and done her job from there, then that puts a slightly different lean on things. Why didn’t she just do so? Maybe she did.

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  109. adze (2,130 comments) says:

    gump

    I think Rob Moody just enjoys wearing skirts. He recently changed his name via deedpoll to “Miss Alice”.

    Not saying this was his only motivation, but his publicly stated reason was a protest (from memory) against what he perceived as an “old boys” mindset in the court system. His protest against this was to express his “identification” with women through his feminised choice of wardrobe while in court.

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  110. Longknives (4,953 comments) says:

    Davidp- Your ‘Ski Jacket’ story pretty much sums this whole debate up…

    If the younger generation can’t see what’s wrong with wearing disco ‘mumble’ pants to the High Court or a bloody Ski Jacket to Parliament then I honestly fear for this country and it’s future- have a bit of bloody decency and self respect!

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  111. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    A good example of the ‘Peter Pan Generation’.

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  112. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    There are PANTS….who CARES?!

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  113. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Surely nobody is really arguing that she was in any way dressed in a professional manner? As a journalist she is given certain privileges that the general public do not recieve. In return, she is expected to show the some courtesy in return by observing the court’s guidelines.

    What is so wrong with that? Or is she exempt because she is a journalist. How many of you would wear shorts and singlet to a job interview at a bank? Or to a funeral? Just because some of you don’t like the court or the legal profession does not mean people have a licence to be disrespectful while within its precincts.

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  114. freemark (651 comments) says:

    Laura’s looking hot.. maybe the registrar was spurned..
    The dress code is a barrier to participation – except as a defendant, witness or whanau.
    And unless she was dancing on the bench, I fail to see how her outfit detracted from the dignity..
    About time some Govt cleaned up and cut funding to the expensive, inefficient and self-important Court Jesters.
    Night all..so peaceful here without the phool.

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  115. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    adze

    Here’s an article with a bit more background:

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/412493/Skirt-wearing-lawyers-extra-ordinary-life

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  116. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (743 comments) says:

    Wow, just wow. What kind of a person is in so much need of attention they wear that to a murder trial? I know I’m late but I just had to say wow, just wow.

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  117. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay (2,340) Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    V2

    She wasn’t in the public gallery, she wasn’t appearing the dock, she was in the press gallery which in most Courts is very close to the defendant, a place where they don’t have to sit with the riff raff

    I would also presume that journalists who are allowed into the press gallery have a dress code and their editors and they would be aware of this.

    She wasn’t arsed on the deputy registrar taking a arbitary dislike to her strides, she will have failed to comply with guidelines

    Gees, you have turned into to a grumpy prick.
    Aside from the stupid notion that I hate police (which apparently comes from the fact that I detest the Nazi and unlawful antics of some such as “raids” carried out in the name of the Law on people who such as Dot com and which Law was never evident and will now cost via police stupidity the taxpayer a big heap of cash , (which I’m sure you will enjoy contributing to), please publish for us all to see your apparent DRESS CODe if it exists.
    The only thing offended here is YOUR perception of a person with rights of their own which until now remain although I”m sure people like you would just luv to see extinghuised.
    Which actually proves exatly what the point of the comment was.

    Get a real life.

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  118. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    freemark (38) Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Laura’s looking hot.. maybe the registrar was spurned..
    The dress code is a barrier to participation – except as a defendant, witness or whanau.
    And unless she was dancing on the bench, I fail to see how her outfit detracted from the dignity..
    About time some Govt cleaned up and cut funding to the expensive, inefficient and self-important Court Jesters.
    Night all..so peaceful here without the phool.

    Yep. And clean out their legal aid as well. No reason the taxpayer should fund two bit lawyers. The rest of us have to hustle for our business.

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  119. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    F E Smith (1,846) Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Surely nobody is really arguing that she was in any way dressed in a professional manner? As a journalist she is given certain privileges that the general public do not recieve. In return, she is expected to show the some courtesy in return by observing the court’s guidelines.

    What is so wrong with that? Or is she exempt because she is a journalist. How many of you would wear shorts and singlet to a job interview at a bank? Or to a funeral? Just because some of you don’t like the court or the legal profession does not mean people have a licence to be disrespectful while within its precincts.

    She wasn’t going for a job interview.
    The objection is to the sparklies isn’t it.

    Oh My God someoen in court has taken the limelight of the Judgeor some pouncy Lawyer. A lawyer in that case that looks like he is going to set free the man that pulled the trigger. A man with so much principle that he won’t even defend himself in court. So noone will ever question in court the man accussed of committing a murder.
    What sort of Justice/ court system is that.
    Dare I say it even the Bible says we should face our accuser.
    Apparently Lawyers don’t beleive that.

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  120. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    F E Smith (1,846) Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Oh, and the removal of a hat is a sign of respect for the judge and the dignity of the Court. Just like you remove your hat when you are introduced to the Sovereign. It is courtesy, although you would appear not to understand that.

    Where I come from RESPECT is earned can’t simply be demanded. Perhaps that’s why so many Judges are not respected for their decisions. An almost daily occurence.

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  121. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    V2

    Wrong side of the bed this morning ?, bringing the bible into it at 6.52am, Lucia and co will be proud

    Where do you come V2?, its starting to sound like a really scary place.

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  122. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    A registrar at Wellington’s High Court approached the 25-year-old, who works for NZ Newswire, at the media bench and asked her to leave before the lunch break.

    Miss McQuillan defended her choice of clothing on Twitter, saying: “I’m sitting under a table! No one even sees my legs!”

    She added: “I don’t know why people are acting like they’ve never seen sequinned pants before.”

    There is no official dress code for media or spectators, but as a guideline the Ministry of Justice website suggests women should wear a dress or a blouse and skirt, or a blouse and long pants. Jeans are also acceptable.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10815973

    And you could note that the woman standing behind her is wearing trousers under a cost.

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  123. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    So No dress code.
    Jeans are acceptable.

    Sexist is correct.

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  124. swan (665 comments) says:

    Surely nobody is really arguing that she was in any way dressed in a professional manner?

    What I am arguing is that “dressed in a professional manner” is a nonsense concept. It has no objective basis other than someone subjective preferences.

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  125. Phil (126 comments) says:

    @nickb

    At the very least she should have been arrested for a crime against fashion.

    50-odd comments and you were the first to make this joke.
    Where have the rest of our pun-making bretheren gone?

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  126. grumpyoldhori (2,205 comments) says:

    Damn there are some lazy young sods out there today, called for jury service they cannot even make an effort with a jacket and tie, have not got jacket and tie, well go to the salvation army shop and buy the same.

    RRM very true, the prosecution were challenging young Maori blokes but the funny part is that the two young Maori blokes who ended on the jury were the ones we had trouble turning from guilty to not guilty :-)

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  127. mara (769 comments) says:

    If this woman was obese and wearing the same gear, I reckon there would be 100% agreement with banishing her immediately.

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  128. KevinH (1,253 comments) says:

    From an editorial perspective the journalist has overshadowed the news and has become the centre of attention and not the case she was sent to cover. This means that she won’t be covering the case from this moment onwards and will get reassigned to something more appropriate to her attire ie fashionweek or something similar.

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  129. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    swan,

    what is wrong with it being subjective? The guidelines are there and allow some latitude. That seems reasonable, especially when it comes to womens clothing. Do you want each item of clothing to be specifically listed?

    V2,

    Like PEB, i wonder whether you got out of the wrong side of bed this morning. Your comment about a possible acquittal does seem to explain it, however. Unhappy that one of the verdicts available to the jury is ‘not guilty’, eh?

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  130. freemark (651 comments) says:

    I’m a 47 year old pakeha male, have been on the electoral role for every election, taxpayer, blah blah.. never once have I been called for jury duty.. is this rare, or normal?

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  131. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    freemark, I’m going with rare – I’m early 40’s but already been called 3 times.

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  132. noskire (835 comments) says:

    A fashion statement, or just the general state of mainstream journalism in New Zealand? Agree with KevinH.

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  133. Random Punter (78 comments) says:

    Surely no more glitzy than Greg King’s rhinestone cowboy shoes.

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  134. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    Off with her head!

    awful dress sense, ok for a bar or party but the high court where sober matters are being debated?
    Nah.
    Move on.

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  135. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    If you squint just right it looks like she’s got nothing on.

    Sorry.

    That’s all I got.

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