A judge presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.
A variety of traditions have become associated with the rank or occupation.
In many parts of the world, judges wear long robes (often in black or red) and sit on an elevated platform during trials (known as the bench).
In some countries, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations, judges wear wigs. The long wig often associated with judges is now reserved for ceremonial occasions, although it was part of the standard attire in previous centuries. A short wig resembling but not identical to a barrister's wig would be worn in court. This tradition, however, is being phased out in Britain in non-criminal courts.
American judges frequently wear black robes. American judges have ceremonial gavels, although American judges have court deputies or bailiffs and contempt of court power as their main devices to maintain decorum in the courtroom. However, in some of the Western United States, like California, judges did not always wear robes and instead wore everyday clothing. Today, some members of state supreme courts, such as the Maryland Court of Appeals wear distinct dress.
In Italy and Portugal both judges and lawyers wear particular black robes.
In China, judges wore regular street clothes until 1984, when they began to wear military-style uniforms, which were intended to demonstrate authority. These uniforms were replaced in 2000 by black robes similar to those worn in the rest of the world.
In Oman, the judge wears a long stripe (red, green white), while the attorneys wear the black gown.
Source: Judge from Wikipedia
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