Britain's stupidest laws revealed

Discussion in 'Barracks' started by Antipodean Andy, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member,23599,22717581-23109,00.html

    THE Queen's speech in the British parliament overnight may have been routine but at least nobody got bored to death - that would have been against the law

    Dying in parliament is an offence and is also by far the most absurd law in Britain, according to a survey of nearly 4000 people by a television channel showing a legal drama series.

    And though the lords were clad in their red and white ermine cloaks and ambassadors from around the world wore colourful national costumes, at least nobody turned up in a suit of armour. Illegal.

    Other rules deemed utterly stupid included one that permits a pregnant woman to urinate in a policeman's hat and murdering bow-and-arrow-carrying Scotsmen within the city walls of York, northern England.

    A law stating that in Liverpool, only a clerk in a tropical fish store is allowed to be publicly topless, was also ridiculous, said a poll of 3931 people for UKTV Gold television out yesterday.

    Nearly half of those surveyed admitted to breaking the ban on eating mince pies on Christmas Day, which dates back to the 17th century and was originally designed to outlaw gluttony during the rule of the Puritan Oliver Crowmell.

    The laws and other regulations were culled from published research into ancient legislation that has never been repealed although subsequent statutes have rendered them obsolete.

    Respondents were given a shortlist and asked to vote.

    Most ridiculous British laws:

    1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27 per cent)
    2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down (7 per cent)
    3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6 per cent)
    4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day (5 per cent)
    5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter (4 per cent)
    6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet (4per cent)
    7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail of the queen (3.5 per cent)
    8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3 per cent)
    9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour (3 percent)
    10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2 per cent).
  2. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Crazy! There must be old laws/statutes like that in every country. There must be some rippers in some countries from the repressive times in history.
  3. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    We were told at uni that they kept some of these stupid statutes so that if ever it was necessary to introduce legislation, at short notice and with minimum of fuss, then it was easier to amend one of these existing statutes than to try to get new legislation through.
  4. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    The BBC ran this story too. They also had the 10 stupidest international laws:

    Other bizarre foreign laws voted by those polled included:

    # In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk (9%)

    # In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation (8%)

    # A male doctor in Bahrain can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror (7%)

    # In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself standing up after 10pm (6%)

    # It is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle in Alabama (6%)

    # In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed (6%)

    # Women in Vermont must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth (6%)

    # In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits (5%)

    # In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon (4%)
  5. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    I can't resist asking the question however on second thoughts I won't as you all probably know what my comment was going to be!

  6. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I have the stupidest law of all time. Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

    Go look at the minutai then tell me its intelligent.
  7. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    How about the one which says a taxi driver must carry a bale of hay in his boot. Must come from the time when they were pulled by horses. Also a taxi driver may relieve himself on the nearside back wheel if caught short.

  8. morse1001

    morse1001 Guest

    There is also the law which says that Hackney cabs have to be tall enough for a man to etner wearing a top hat!
  9. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Then tell him to duck.
  10. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member,23599,22756498-23109,00.html

    AN ancient law banning an English town from holding a market because it is less than "a donkey ride" away from one in a rival town has been branded an ass.

    The centuries-old law is used by residents of South Shields near Newcastle in northeastern England to prevent their neighbours in North Shields - just on the other side of the Tyne river - from setting up a market.

    "We have been trying for a number of years to get around this,'' said Maggie Richardson of the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce, which wants to set up a weekly market.

    "But every time we have approached South Tyneside Council, they say they were given a market charter some time in the 1200 region by king John, so that no one can set up a market within a day's donkey ride.

    "It is a bizarre situation ... It's not funny, it's pathetic. The law definitely is an ass. We need a market because they bring vibrancy to the town centre.''

    South Tyneside Council, like the proverbial donkey, won't budge.

    "South Shields market is both vibrant and popular, and attracts thousands of visitors to the borough every year,'' said a spokesman.

    "It is of great importance to South Tyneside and, as its owner, South Tyneside Council has a duty to protect it from rivals.''

    The donkey ride distance is commonly understood to mean six and two-thirds miles (10.7km) - how far a trader was deemed to be able to travel from home, sell for eight hours, then return in a single day.
  11. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Wonder how South Tyneside would feel with the shoe on the other hoof.
  12. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Aaaaaaaaaah anyone had a gander at the new Planning laws announced by the Queen last week?
    If it can be proven there is an economic need for ANY development, then it gets planning permission regardless of where it is. Bye bye green belt, AONB and NP protected areas. You name it, it'll get passed automatically. Dear God in heaven.

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