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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

From the people who invented the common law -- 'daft' laws

Under the headline "Daft Laws," the United Kingdom's Undercurrents Video blog recently posted a ranking of the top 10 "most ridiculous" British laws. While the utility of this information is debatable at best, it's something to chuckle over as you sip on your morning tea and munch on your scone. Here are the results in order (enjoy!):

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament;

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen's image upside-down;

3. It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store

4. Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned;

5. If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requires the use of your toilet, you are required to let them enter;

6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet;

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;

8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing;

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

10. It is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

UPDATE: Paul Fletcher, publisher of our very fine sister publication, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, and a blogger in his own right at the VLW blog, provides a link for those interested in learning more about the ludicrous laws. The rankings were derived from a poll of about 4,000 people voting on a list compiled by UKTV Gold researchers. Cheers!

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