Posted 28 ноября 2022,, 10:19

Published 28 ноября 2022,, 10:19

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Mantle for a lawyer: why is it introduced in modern Russia

Mantle for a lawyer: why is it introduced in modern Russia

28 ноября 2022, 10:19
Фото: Новые Известия
From the beginning of 2023, lawyers will wear robes to participate in trials. There has been a lingering debate about the dress code for quarterbacks since the early 2000s. The Federal Chamber of Lawyers today decided to "revive the agenda". Novye Izvestia found out what lawyers themselves think about unified clothing.

Yulia Suntsova, Natalya Seybil

The right to wear a gown is planned to be included in the Code of Professional Ethics for Lawyers from next year - so far this is not a requirement. It will be possible to put on a uniform of your own free will, to purchase it at your own expense.

In October, at a corporate event, Elena Avakyan , Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers (FBA), demonstrated a prototype of lawyer special clothing. Dark blue color, the fabric does not wrinkle and withstands repeated washings, convince FPA. Volunteers have already been found for the first 14 samples, they will visit the courts in robes. When a certain cut is established, patterns for self-tailoring, apparently, will be posted on the website of the Chamber.

Severity in dress is still a requirement of the Code of Professional Ethics for Lawyers. But not everyone follows the dress code. Disciplinary cases involving complaints about the appearance of lawyers are not uncommon, the FPA says and adds that "they will do everything possible to make the retail price acceptable to everyone."

“Now an experiment is being carried out, it may not be successful - we will see a small number of lawyers in robes. Or maybe, on the contrary, it will be perceived positively by colleagues - and robes will appear in every court session. We believe lawyer gowns will allow uniting into a single corporate affiliation. This raises the status of the legal profession against the background of other legal representatives. Of course, the mantle is one small thin thread in a very complex process, this is an important psychological step, ” commented Elena Avakyan, vice president of the FPA , in an interview with NG.

The idea of a lawyer's dress code immediately had supporters and opponents. The latter, if we focus on reviews in social networks and our own survey, are the majority.

First, the question arises about the relevance of the problem in the current realities. Secondly, the customs and principles of European justice are alien to our culture and our society.


- Without developing and not intending to discuss the pros and cons of the mantle, I thought that there were probably no more problems in the legal profession. All are over. No inadmissibility to the principals in the police, pre-trial detention centers, colonies and prisons, no irremovability of the heads of the chambers, no merging with the authorities, and so on and so forth. What can I say? Sometimes I also prefer to do very small things at home, pushing aside large and important ones in the hope that it will resolve itself. So she seemed to be doing something, and she was busy with business, - comments the lawyer Irina Biryukova.

- The introduction of a lawyer's robe - the reception of the institution of European, legal orders, unusual for Russia. The Russian legal profession is perceived rather as a negative phenomenon. I repeat - in the absence of historical continuity, the mantle will be perceived as an artificial attribute, and the practical benefits of it are highly doubtful. I suppose that the effect will be exactly the opposite of the desired one - the new attribute will be treated with disdain, and not with reverence, - says Alexander Sakovich, lawyer, Chairman of the Board of Magnetar ICA.

Suppose the initiators really, as they say, are trying to solve some utilitarian problems.

1. Introduce a unified dress code that will eliminate differences among lawyers in terms of financial standing.

2. Eliminate the distracting factor of judges in the form of mini-skirts, transparent blouses, shorts with slippers.

3. Raise the prestige of the lawyer, get rid of the dismissive attitude on the part of the state apparatus (the accusers come in uniforms with shoulder straps).

Finally, 4. to revive the spirit of corporation and unity in the modern legal profession.

But after all, the voiced goals, if done in a human way, are achieved differently. It is not enough just to post patterns for tailoring on the website of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers.

According to retired judge Sergei Pashin , in the courts of Britain , for example, unified suits for lawyers are waiting for them on their shoulders in the wardrobes of the courts. Any lawyer who comes can rent a gown and a wig.

Our lawyers, apparently, are invited to crumple robes in briefcases and then change in the toilets of the courts or under the door of the courtroom, or put on at home and wander down the street in it? And if after the trial you need to immediately go to the pre-trial detention center or for interrogations to the investigator - does this mean a large sports bag with you?

“In Russia, libraries with databases of precedents and legislation would not hurt, to which lawyers and prosecutors would have access directly from the courtroom. This is the “reasonable digitalization” that the Supreme Court is striving for. there are bookcases with volumes dating back to the 16th century - the bookcases are not locked. It would be nice for lawyers to have offices for getting acquainted with the materials of criminal cases. We need rooms for jurors and witnesses so that they do not toil in the corridors waiting for a call. This is culture office work, this is the corporate spirit - when a person in court feels not an annoying hindrance, but a long-awaited guest," Sergey Pashin is convinced.

The attitude to the legal profession is made up of self-respect, of upholding independence from the state. The community is respected when it protects the rights of each of its members to the last, and the members, if necessary, unite in order to defend the corporation to the end, Viktoria Bessonova, lawyer and founder of the BonaFides law office, agrees with the retired judge.

The business world and business are competing to reduce consumption, refusing stilettos, buttoning the top button, allowing ties to be left at home. Going back to archaism is a very strange idea, like suddenly obliging women to give up trousers. By the way, why the “enemy mantle”, and not the native frock coat? In modern life, a Russian lawyer is deprived of the opportunity not only to change clothes, but often to simply leave outerwear in the wardrobe. The lawyer is mobile, many people use public transport services, they bring with them a laptop, volumes of cases, power banks. Where else is there to tamp down the mantle, the lawyers ask.

- It was necessary to raise the prestige of the bar when people (including those close to the Kremlin) believed in the bar. Today you need to have crazy knowledge or have connections in the special services in order to get a client out at least on a conditional basis. An acquittal is like a star in the midday sky, once a century. But what can I say - in our country, the presidents of the chambers of lawyers began to be imprisoned for posts on social networks, for statements! Qualification commissions are completely under the control of law enforcement agencies. All that can be done by the commissions for the protection of lawyers is only shameful pieces of paper for the sake of unsubscribing. Themselves 70,000 lawyers in the country like water in his mouth typed. In short, the scarecrow is no longer intimidating. Imitation of lawyer status in such a playful manner - with robes - today does not even look like a mockery, but a self-mockery. It's like trying to save the Titanic by changing the upholstery on deck chairs, says Rustam Chernov, a member of the Moscow Bar Association.

In his opinion, the exceptional condition under which the robes in Russian courts will not look comical is the agonal (competitiveness) of the processes. First, the main function of the courts needs to be revived - justice, and only then to deal with embellishments with attributes.


However, there are also opposite opinions.

Some lawyers believe that a work suit will help them stand out from other court visitors, look like part of justice.

- The mantle allows you to wear any clothes and significantly save on suits and dry cleaning. It will allow you to walk in jeans, and indeed in anything, even in a miniskirt - put on top right before the meeting and still look presentable. Collect form. The importance of clothing should not be underestimated. All the girls know - she put on a red dress with a neckline - and now you are no longer a woman tortured by life, but a queen, or at least a noblewoman. The mantle also “sets up” in a businesslike way, puts it into working condition. And finally - the argument is rather funny, but should not be underestimated. I know firsthand how many judges don't like robes (they're made of terrible fabric). And when, for example, at 17.30 at the 45th session, a lawyer in a light summer dress “breathing in spirits and fogs” floats into the judge’s office, I can imagine what a desire to strangle someone this can cause, - the partner of the law office explains his position “ Yablokov and Partners Marina Zhirova.

- I am categorically for the fact that the lawyer stood out from those present in court. He is not a layman, but a person endowed with a special status. It is quite logical that it should look official. Lawyers try to stick to a business style, but everyone has different tastes, as well as financial possibilities. However, the idea of a mantle is not the best. This is a wardrobe item that you still need to learn how to wear. The sample that was recently presented to us, according to the apologists, should not be wrinkled. So, synthetics, and it just looks tasteless, - says a criminal lawyer, a member of the Gorgadze and Partners Bar Association. Vladimir Shelupakhin.

If you really do it, then let it be perfect, and not according to the army principle "ugly, but uniform." Let it be a tunic or uniform instead of a mantle, the lawyer adds.

Doctor of Law, Professor, President of the Union of Lawyers of Russia Igor Trunov:

- Wearing the gown only concerns a small part of the work of a lawyer. 70% of the activities of a lawyer are not connected with legal proceedings - pre-trial detention centers, prisons, consultations with clients, they are not forced to go there in robes.

So far, they are not required to wear a mantle in the courts. Why? I think that the form of clothing determines the content and obliges to maintain the content at the level that it deserves. If we say that a lawyer is an integral part of legal proceedings, of course, lawyers should be singled out, they should differ from lawyers by proxy, who are twice as many in courts today.

The mantle is a symbol of the judiciary, reminding everyone of a special status. The mantle unites the defenders as members of a corporation bound by age-old traditions with a special responsibility. Symbolically, the mantle hides everything human, it emphasizes that the participant in the process should not be subject to emotions, nothing personal - only the law.

It seems to me that at first it is necessary to introduce robes at meetings of the governing bodies - the qualification commission, councils, where a certain solemnity should be present.


The robes, shirt-fronts, wigs in the courts are a reflection of the concept of the separation of powers by Charles Louis de Montesquieu, the philosopher of the Enlightenment. When in the 17th century the power of arms in Europe is recognized as redundant and it becomes indecent with the use of bayonets to drive away the people from the monarch, who are ready to jump on power at any moment, they come up with a ceremony. Judge - in a high chair, solemn clothes, high wigs. They created a pleasant atmosphere for people to solve problems. The court was needed simply in order to come there was easier than to take up arms. In Russia, the authorities have never bargained with the people, never courted them, lawyers argue.

Lawyer Rustam Chernov suggests recalling the primordial traditions of the Russian legal profession.

- In Rus', in pre-revolutionary Russia, in the Soviet Union, traditions with paraphernalia never existed. What happened? Before the Mongol invasion, there were judgments, judgments by God's duel - a fight with spears in an open field, in a simple way. In Mongolian times, a federal center appeared in the Horde; since 1310, Sharia courts according to the Karan have been in charge at the Headquarters according to Muslim traditions. What are these courts? The princes stabbed each other for the label, that's all.

With the reforms of Peter I, they adopted the traditions of the Germans: solicitors, kissers and all kinds of uniforms at the royal court administered their justice - more, of course, they simply exchanged letters with each other, while ordinary people could only “beat with their foreheads” in front of the king in a vague hope of alleviating their lot . Under the Synod, inquisitorial trials appear. In the Russian Empire under Alexander II in 1864, it would seem that the first human rudiments of justice appear - sworn attorneys. But under Vladimir Lenin, the Decree “On the Court” is issued - in fact, this is the liquidation of these hatched rudiments of the legal profession.

The new Code of Criminal Procedure of 2002 gave hope, but not for long. In 2019, in Russia, the Klishas amendments actually legalized a ban on the profession for ethical misconduct. Lawyers are being turned into civil servants - we call it "Law on Castration of the Bar". He immediately began to actively act, they would have dealt with the lawyers further, if the more important case had not begun [special operation], sums up the criminal lawyer, member of the Moscow Chamber of Lawyers Rustam Chernov.