Quirky Commonwealth Laws

Legislation does not always keep up with society so archaic but quirky laws of the Commonwealth remain on the statute books as shown in the examples below.

  1. United Kingdom:
  2. Under the metropolitan Police Act 1839 it is illegal to beat or shake any carpet or rug in the street. However beating or shaking a doormat is allowed before 8am; and
  3. Under the Salmon Act 1986 it is illegal to handle salmon in suspicious circumstances.
  4. Australia:
  5. The Summary Offences Act 1966 states that it is an offence to fly a kite or play a game in a public place “to the annoyance of another person”; and
  6. The Marketing of Potatoes Act 1946 states that it is illegal for a distributor of potatoes to be in possession of more than 50kg of potatoes that are sourced from a person or organisation other than the Potato Marketing Corporation.

It is apparent that the world moves on and people forget to clean up the statute books. Because repealing these laws does not seem to be a priority, these quirky laws seem to be here to stay.