The Strand Exhibition is the oldest part of the exhibition housed under the roof of the RCJ.  Here you will find European robes from the Court of Session in Scotland to the Appeal Court of Poland.  You will find this area to the right of the main hall entrance.  A good place to start the tour.

Scotland Court of Session,

Scotland Robes of

Lord Commissioner

and Tipstaff Uniform

Scotland - Robes of a Lord of Sessions

 The Court of Session is the highest civil court in Scotland.  It dates back in its present form to 1532.  The judges are generally known as Lords of Session but can also bear title of Senators of the College of Justice.  Judicial robes were introduced into Scotland by a statute and Order in Council of King James VI of Scots (James I of England) in 1609-10.  The robes are purple satin faced with satin of murrey colour.  The robes were worn by Lord Migdale.  (Lord of Session 1953-1973).

Scotland - Robes of a Lord Commissioner of the High Court of Justiciary


The High Court of Justiciary is the highest criminal court in Scotland.  Its members are Lords of Session who sit as Lords Commissioners of the High Court of Justiciary.  On the creation of the Court in 1672 it was enacted “That for the splendour of that Court, all the Judges [shall] sitt in red robes faced with white”.  The red crosses on the modern robes were originally ribbons used to tie the robe in front.  These robes were worn by Lord Migdale when sitting as a Lord Commissioner.

Uniform of the tipstaff and his Officers


The Tipstaff (plural “Tipstaves") is an ancient executive officer of the courts.  At one time it was the duty of tipstaves, when the Lord Chancellor passed through the streets in procession, to lead the procession by clearing the way for the Chancellor.  In more modern times when the judicial procession used to pass through the Royal Courts of Justice on October 1st the Tipstaff would lead the procession carrying a staff bearing a silver gilt crown.  Today he is the enforcement officer for all orders made in the High Court and the ceremonial officer of that Court; he is particularly concerned with enforcing orders of the Family Division, such as orders concerning the abduction of children.  He and his staff still wear uniform, but the uniform shown here is from an earlier date, probably about 100 years ago.


Germany and European Court



Robe of crimson satin lined with maroon satin and round Barrett (Bonnet), as worn by judges of the Federal Constitutional Court of the Federal German Republic (in the former West Germany).  Robes of this pattern were introduced for use by judges of the Reichsgericht by order of Kaiser Wilhelm I in of Ka

ser Wilhelm I in 1879.

European Court


Maroon silk robe.  Robe of the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice Luxembourg.  It was worn by the late Sir Jean-Pierre Warner (later Mr Justice Warner) when he became the first British Advocate General on the United Kingdom’s joining what is now the European Community.


Spain Poland and Italy


Robes worn by the Judges of the Supreme Court of Spain, consisting of an open robe with black bonnet and attached medallions.



Judicial Robe of a Judge of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland, together with biretta and the chain of office.  The colour of the Jabot denotes the seniority of the Judiciary. 

This set was kindly donated by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland, February 2016.



Robes worn by the Judges of the Supreme Court of Italy.  It consists of a court robe of black cloth, faced with black satin, the sleeves caught up with gold cords decorated with knots and tassels and a black bonnet with gold band.