This post was written over 8yrs ago and it may be even longer by the time you get to read it. Not sure if these ludicrous laws even exist anymore……that’s up to you to decide.

Here we go anyway….enjoy!

We are taught from a young age to follow law without question; the rules set in place by generations before us are intended to keep peace and order in the world. Throughout history, laws have been updated and amended when situations arise and reveal loopholes and weak spots in certain legislations. There are however, some laws and legislations yet untouched by time that are technically still in the statute books, and it is the job of the Law Commission to sift through the forgotten laws of England and update them accordingly.

So with this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the laws and legislations from England and the rest of the world that defied time and have made it to the modern day.

English Laws

Many of the laws we will look at are sure to provoke a few chuckles and raised eyebrows, but they are also a great indication of what common attitudes and general consensuses were like throughout periods of history, for example it is illegal for taxi drivers to transport rabid dogs and corpses, a law that congers images from times in which the plague devastated England.

Here are some more laws from England that show just how easily periodic instances can effect legislations brought into action.

  • Every English man over the age of 14 is expected to carry out two hours of longbow training every weekend whilst under the supervision of the local clergy. This law dates from the Middle Ages, Britain was without a regular army and local gentry were required to train a set number of knights and archers.
  • London Taxicabs were originally horse drawn, and up until 1976 motorised cabs were required to carry 1 bale of hay and 1 sack of oats.
  • London taxi drivers are technically required by law to ask every passenger if they carry small pox (previously known as The Plague).
  • According to the UK’s Tax Avoidance Regulations, it’s against the law to not inform the tax office of anything you don’t want them to know, but you are not required to tell him things you wouldn’t mind him knowing.
  •  In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

Laws of the World

There is much more ludicrous legislation from around the globe that has made it through to recent times that beg the question “what were they thinking?”! Here are a few examples from countries all over the world.

  • In San Salvador, intoxicated behind the wheel may be executed by firing squad.
  • In Florida, unmarried women who happen to be parachuting on a Sunday can be jailed.
  • In Ohio, it is against state law to intoxicate a fish with alcohol.
  • In Alabama it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded whilst behind the wheel of a car.
  • In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon.
  • It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon less than six feet long in Kentucky.

There are countless crazy laws all over the globe that are still somehow in circulation. Some can be a fantastic window into the past; others have absolutely no basis in reality!

Written by Daniel Travis – Brown, follow him on Twitter @DanTravisBrown. This article was written on behalf of Gray and Co criminal offence solicitors.

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