Weird Laws in Tasmania and around the world

After a few weeks of serious legal posts, it is time for something lighter: the weird and wonderful laws of Tasmania, and around the world.

For example, in Tasmania, falsely claiming to be an architect carries a $100 fine, and taking or possessing a meteorite is worth a fine of nearly $1600.

We also need to be careful when posting glass, gold, silver, gems or other items. Mail-carriers and stage coaches' liability is limited to $20.00 unless you tell them that the goods are worth more than this. With the exception of certain businesses, like newsagents pharmacies and bottle shops, it is illegal to open your business on the morning of ANZAC Day - fines max out at more than $30 000.

There are also the more esoteric and ancient: having sex with Kate Middleton with her consent is treason punishable with jail for your natural life. Jail-worthy crimes include old-fashioned duelling, prize fighting and disrupting a church/religious service. And yes, blasphemy remains on the books in Tasmania, carrying a maximum possible sentence of 21 years jail.

One of the stranger rules in Tasmania relates to the age of consent - texting lewd images, online flirting and the like is illegal where it involves a person under 18 years, even where both people involved are under 18. However, the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 17 - which means that it can be perfectly legal for one 17-year-old to have sex with another 17 year old, but a crime to flirt with them online or send risque photos.


ABC Australia - Weird, obscure laws in Australia


Don't worry - weird laws don't just exist here. A few examples include (with thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade):

  • giving away a cigarette or cigar is a crime in Turkmenistan

  • be careful in Laos of a sexual relationship with a local - that holiday fling is illegal

  • large family gatherings are not a good idea in Egypt - gatherings of 10 or more people require prior government approval

  • it is illegal to own ivory in Ethiopia

  • in Zimbabwe, leave the camo-print pants at home. All camouflage and military style clothing is banned. So is pornography.

  • you might not necessarily think of Rwanda as an environmentally conscious nation: but the plastic bag ban exists in full force and they will be confiscated.

  • a bounced cheque will leave you with bank fees and a "please explain". However, in Morocco, it will put you in jail.

  • importing pork products will send you to jail in Pakistan

  • being a passenger beside a drink-driver, or using a CB radio/walkie-talkie produced outside of Japan, will find you arrested in Japan.