►This is a labor of love as there are few people lawyers prefer teasing more than politicians. Granted, many politicians are lawyers but in my humble opinion, they are only wannabe lawyers (with apologies to any personal friends of mine who may be lawyers and politicians in which case I am sure you were smart enough to know that this is merely a cheap attempt at hypocritically adding credibility to this article). These wannabe lawyers, over the years, come up with some great laws which truly exemplify that glorious legal word ... wait for it ... and when it comes, let it gently caress your thoughts ... asinine.
There are many websites that give you "dumb laws" and most of them are simply crap, unverified and un-researched, and just a portal allowing that website to suck in Google ad money (not that there is anything wrong with that!). This list of dumb, crazy or stupid laws around the world is legitimate and where applicable, a URL is provided.
If any of you have any examples of Dumb, Crazy or Stupid laws around the world which can be verified by a statute URL, please send me an email (see Contact Information). Don't feel limited by the words "dumb, crazy and stupid". We're also interested in "weird, silly, unusual, astonishing, shocking, etc."
Lloyd Duhaime, September 2012
►Singapore: A Bad Place for Oscar Wildes
Singapore’s Penal Code at statutes.agc.gov.sg/, sections 377 and 377A:
"Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine."
►Nigeria: I wouldn't be cheatin'
There is another very real and terrifying perspective on adultery (called "zina" in Islam Law), pointedly set out in this extract of the Penal Code of the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara, Ch. 8, s. 126 (at zamfaraonline.com/sharia/chapter08.html - editor update 2014-05-10, this link is now inactive):
"Whoever, being a man or a woman fully responsible, has sexual intercourse through the genital of a person over whom he has no sexual rights and in circumstances in which no doubt exists as to the illegality of the act, is guilty of the offence of zina (and) shall be punished with caning of one hundred lashes if unmarried, and shall also be liable to imprisonment for a term of one year; or if married, with stoning to death."
► Ladies & Carpenters! Cover Up Please!
The Tucson, Arizona Code of Ordinances, Chapter 11, s. 25.1 and 29 (at municode.com):
“Any female … serving food or spirituous liquors … in a restaurant, nightclub, bar, cabaret, tavern, tap room, theater, or in a private, fraternal, social, golf or country club, … or in any public place, who appears clothed, costumed, unclothed or uncostumed in such a manner that the nipple and the aureola (the more darkly pigmented portion of the breast encircling the nipple) are not firmly covered by a fully opaque material, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and knowingly expose or display his or her anus, buttocks, genitals, pubic areas, areola and/or the nipple of the female breast; or willfully or knowingly aid or assist in the exposure or display of another's anus, buttocks, genitals, pubic areas, areola and/or the nipple of the female breast, in or by a street, alleyway, driveway, right-of-way, parking lot, park, bus stop, hallways, aisle, places of assembly whether indoor or outdoor, such as bingo halls, fairs, carnivals, swap meets, museums, or any other place of public accommodation.”
► I Wouldn't Be Taking That Chocolate Bar If I Was You.
And another gem from the Nigerian state of Zamfara, Ch. 8, s. 126 (at zamfaraonline.com):
“Whoever commits the offence of theft … shall be punished with amputation of the right hand from the joint of the wrist; and where the offender is convicted for the second theft shall be punished with the amputation of the left foot; and where the offender is convicted for the third theft shall be punished with the amputation of the left hand from the joint of the wrist, and where the offender is convicted for the fourth theft shall be punished with the amputation of the right foot; and where the offender is convicted for the fifth or subsequent thefts, he shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year.”
► Me Wanna Dlink! Wah! Wah!
There is no legal drinking age in these countries; you can enjoy your first drink while you’re having your diaper changed: China, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Thailand and Vietnam. It’s "16" in most European countries.
Source: Potsdam University site “Alcohol Poblems and Solutions at potsdam.edu/hansondj/LegalDrinkingAge.html
► Don't Be Selling Your Gymnasts
Georgia's Code (2007, Title 39, Chapter 2, section 17) at lexis-nexis.com/hottopics/gacode:
"Any person who shall sell, apprentice, give away, let out, or otherwise dispose of any minor under 12 years of age to any person for the vocation, occupation, or service of rope or wire walking, begging, or as a gymnast, contortionist, circus rider, acrobat, or clown, or for any indecent, obscene, or immoral exhibition, practice, or purpose shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."
► "Hello? It's Just the Paperboy! Anybody ho...." Bang!
A man's dwelling is his castle, runs the ancient English refrain of the common law.
Well, check this out from the Revised Statutes of Colorado, Title 18, Article 1-704.5 (also known as the “Make My Day” law, accessible through loc.gov/law/guide/us-co.html):
“... (A)ny occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant."
“... Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force ... shall be immune from criminal prosecution (or) civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.”
► Uh, Listen Alien, You Can't Land There!
In October of 1954, the little French town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape passed the following by-law (in-house, but extremely reliable translation):
"The fly-over or landing or takeoff, on public property, of a flying saucer, of whatever nationality, is prohibited."
► The Powers of God
In Australia, the tax Commissioner needs to be, well, able to do his job just in case the evidence doesn't lend itself well to tax collection. What the hell, figured the Australians: let's just give he or she super powers. This is, verbatim, §165.55 of the Australian Commonwealth tax statute, A New Tax System (Goods And Services Tax) Act 1999. It just takes all the fun out of being a lawyer:
"The Commissioner may: • Treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; • Treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as having happened at a particular time and having involved particular action by a particular entity; (or) • Treat a particular event that actually happened as having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened, or having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity)."
► See also Duhaime, Lloyd, Crazy laws - American Style! and Crazy Laws - American Style - The Sequel!
Thank you to Angel Carr for pointing out the statute at The Powers of God.