Nowadays, bizarre laws seem to be the one thing that unites different countries. Every country has one — or, in the case of Italy, several. Laws are deemed bizarre when they seem to defy logic, but what’s logical in Portugal may seem illogical in Japan. What’s considered absurd in Europe may seem totally sensible in many Southeast Asian countries.
Everyone in the world can agree, however, that France’s breathalyzer laws, which require all motorists to have a disposable breathalyzer kit in their car while driving, are bonkers. Then again, some people might find it completely reasonable to be legally required to have this nifty tool sitting in one’s glove compartment at all times.
America does have its own wonderfully strange laws, too. But that’s a topic for another blog. In the meantime, be glad these laws do not exist here in the land of the free, some of which may or may not be actual laws.
In China, abducting one’s children for custody reasons is okay
Abducting and hiding children for custody purposes is shockingly not illegal in China. Those who abduct their child for custody purposes are unlikely to get jailed if, for instance, they’re involved in a contested divorce case and the child custody arrangement was not to their liking. That means that parents who may perceive that their custody case’s outcome was unfair can simply put matters into their own hands.
Based on recent reports, the practice of abducting one’s child for custody reasons is rampant and normalized in the country, although the Chinese government is supposedly currently addressing the problem and is seeking to outlaw such practice.
Try doing that in Washington state and see if you’d succeed. Actually, never do that! Call a family lawyer like us instead.
In Samoa, it’s punishable by law to forget your wife’s birthday — allegedly
We’ve handled so many divorce cases in our lifetime, but we’ve never had to defend a husband for forgetting his wife’s birthday. After all, we do not practice family law in Samoa. If you’re a citizen of the Independent State of Samoa, forgetting your wife’s birthday can allegedly land you in jail. If forgetting their parents’ or children’s birthday can help Samoan husbands free up space in their brain, then so be it. It would certainly be outrageous for such a law to exist, but luckily it isn’t an actual law.
In England, Wales, and Scotland, you can get arrested for holding salmon under fishy circumstances
If you love salmon, and do in fact love fishing for the pink fishies and are headed to England, Wales, or Scotland to do exactly that, you might need to lawyer up. According to Section 23 of the Salmon Act of 1986, holding salmon under suspicious circumstances is illegal. So, when in the UK, you should only hold salmon under non-suspicious circumstances. Ordering an oven-baked salmon at a restaurant is not considered a suspicious circumstance and is, therefore, perfectly legal.
In Sweden, there are laws prohibiting spontaneous dancing
Alcohol laws = normal. Spontaneous dancing laws = not normal.
But alas, the latter is enforced in Sweden. Certain bars and restaurants in Sweden used to have to follow a legislature mandating the need to acquire a dance permit, which would allow patrons to burst in spontaneous shimmying. Fortunately for bar and restaurant owners, the legal requirement to obtain a dance permit has been revoked in 2016. Unfortunately for the country’s dancing queens and kings, the law prohibiting spontaneous dancing is still in effect. This is rather ironic for a nation that produced pop-dance hitmakers ABBA.
In Italy, frowning violates laws unless you have a legitimate reason to do so, like if someone died
For this list, it was tough to include only one strange law from Italy (there are just so many), which made us frown. Speaking of frowning, doing that in Milan, Italy counts as a violation. It’s an actual law that citizens and tourists in the Italian fashion capital must follow. That is, except for those who find themselves at a funeral and/or a hospital. Luckily, though, it is not mandatory to obtain a frowning permit.
In Scotland, there are… toilet usage laws
In America, laws where citizens have free reign over private bathrooms are nonexistent. That is not the case in Scotland, where it is illegal to deny anyone the use of a toilet. This isn’t even the strangest thing about Scotland. But because there is an ongoing pandemic, in which close contact with strangers poses a threat, Scottish lawmakers might just be working toward repealing this law. Maybe.
Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams are family law and personal injury law attorneys in Washington state. We can be your ally in making sure the legal system works in your favor. Call our Renton offices or leave us a message.