Strange British Laws

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Marianne, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

    It is illegal enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

    Pregnant women are allowed to pee anywhere they fancy (even in a policeman's helmet).

    If you are in Scotland and need to pee, just knock on any door - they are required to let you use their loo.

    It is legal to kill a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York - but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow. (This one must go back to Braveheart times!)
     
  2. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    You don't have to go to the UK to find some strange laws. In my hometown it is illegal to eat fried chicken with a fork. It's on the books, at least it was when I lived there 21 years ago.

    That peeing in a helmet thing is kinda weird, though.
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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  4. andrew markworthy

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    I think you'll find that these laws (if true) are not enforcible since either they've never been enacted, or other laws have superceded them.

    E.g. it is supposedly illegal to eat Christmas pudding on Christmas Day (a law enacted when Puritans ruled the roost in the UK - celebrating Christmas was a sign of Popery). But several centuries of Christmas revels show that the law has never been enacted [there's a proper legal term for this, I believe]. There are also several other towns (usually on the Welsh or Scottish borders) that have local by-laws permitting you to shoot people of the 'wrong' nationality. However, I think the laws forbidding murder supercede them.

    If I recall correctly, aren't there some American states that have laws making certain sexual positions illegal?
     
  5. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    They must be true, I got them from a British newspaper! [​IMG]
     
  6. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    Do you mean this one?

    Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. (Florida)

    or this one?

    When having sex, only the missionary position is legal. (Florida)
     
  7. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    This one puzzled me. Apparently, though,
    1. The Houses of Parliament is a royal palace ("Palace of Westminster").
    2. If there's some suspicion that a death was not a natural one, the coroner for the district in which the body was discovered, conducts an inquest, with a jury.
    3. But if someone dies in a royal palace, the Coroner of the Queen's Household conducts the inquest with a jury chosen from the Royal Household.
    4. which, in the case of members of parliament, might present a certain conflict of interest.

    The solution is to tentatively call time of death "upon arrival' at a hospital outside the premises. I recall (perhaps from Scorsese's "Bringing out the dead") that similar legal fiction is used by paramedics.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Hey, I've committed an illegal act in Florida. [​IMG]
     
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Our sodomy laws were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2003.
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    It used to be the case that certain sexual acts (not "positions") were illegal in certain U.S. States. As they were in Great Britain - ask Oscar Wilde. [​IMG] But they were almost never prosecuted here, even when they were on the books.

    Many lists of crazy laws are just made up. They keep turning up in print because some reporter finds them in a book (or today on a website) and decides that they're "too good to check" before running them.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    The Constitution of the State of Texas requires that all office-holders be monotheists. There is no specification what religion they belong to, as long as they profess belief in one God, and one only. This provision is utterly null, owing to the stipulation in the Federal Constitution that there shall be no religious test for any office under the United States. It was, like so much else of the current State Constitution, included purely for annoyance value, as the document was draughted by men who were quite bitter about having chosen the losing side in the Civil War. Let it be said, many of the more recondite provisions, such as those on Spanish Land Grants, were actually relevant to conditions ; but the overall setup is to make an utter hash out of government. Virtually every State and local official, including judges, is directly elected, some at-large and others from districts, and most actions of the Legislature must be confirmed by ballot referenda. This in a country of thirty million inhabitants (almost none of whom turn out at the polls). I have every confidence that similar descriptions apply to many of the strange laws which are often cited — they never had much purpose in the first place, except to make life a little more difficult for someone.
     
  12. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    A Texan on another board said that they're in a race to beat Alabama
     
  13. andrew markworthy

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    [QUOTE} [Sexual acts such as homosexuality] ... were almost never prosecuted here, even when they were on the books. [/quote]
    I think this depends on how you define 'never prosecuted'. I think I'm right in saying that in the UK and the USA, even when homosexuality was illegal, it was extremely rare for anyone to be prosecuted if they were discrete and did what came naturally in private. Prosecutions were typically only for cases where there was an element of public indecency (e.g. importuning in public washrooms, etc) or pedophilia. Both these categories would still be prosecuted today.
     
  14. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    But those weren't prosecutions for homosexuality per se. They were prosecutions for the stated offenses, which also would have been prosecuted had the perps been heterosexuals. Of course it is possible that they would have thrown in a sodomy charge in addition to the main charge, just as a prosecutor might include weapons possession and illegal parking charges to an indictment for armed robbery. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  15. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    It is also unlawful to molest alligators in Florida!
     
  16. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Tex. Penal Code Ann. §21.06(a) (2003)

    (and yes, it does go on to define "deviate sexual intercourse")

    It was struck down in Lawrence v. Texas
     
  17. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Andrew sez:
     
  18. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    On a lighter note it is illegal to peel an orange in a hotel room in California.

    In New York, it is illegal to play any game on Sunday other than baseball.

    In Hawaii, it is illegal to walk around with pennies in your ears.
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    so that explains the meadowlands!
     
  20. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Your honor, my client, Stumpy McDumbass, will be appealing this conviction.
     

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