In the United Kingdom, several unique laws exist that are not found in other parts of the world. While some of these rules may appear antiquated or absurd, they were implemented for specific reasons.
Here are nine of the most interesting and unique laws that are specific to the United Kingdom.
Killing a Swan Is Prohibited
Under UK law, it is illegal to kill a swan as they are considered to be the property of the crown. This means that any person caught killing a swan can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to £5,000.
While this may seem like a harsh punishment, it is important to remember that swans have been a part of British culture for centuries. In fact, they were once so revered that only royalty was allowed to eat them. Today, swans are still considered to be special creatures and are protected by law.
It Is Illegal for Members of the Parliament to Wear Armor in the Parliament Quarter
Parliamentarians are not authorized to wear armor in the parliament quarter. King Edward II enacted this legislation in 1313. He did so to put an end to the violence that had erupted between the pro-royalist Lancastrians and the anti-royalist Earl of Gloucester’s party in parliament.
It Is against the Law to Be Found Drunk in a Pub
This law is in place in order to prevent public intoxication and disorderly conduct. If an individual is found to be intoxicated in a public place, they may be fined or even jailed. This law is taken very seriously by police and prosecutors, and as such, it is important to be aware of it if you are planning on consuming alcohol in the UK.
Walking Cows Down the Street in Daylight in England Is Banned
According to this law, cows are only allowed to walk down the street if it is done between the hours of 10am and 7pm and if the cows are supervised by a competent person. While this law may seem odd, it is actually designed to protect both the cows and pedestrians.
People Cannot Manage Cattle While Drunk
This law was put in place in 1872 after a number of incidents where people had been injured or killed while intoxicated and handling livestock. While this may seem like a silly law, it is actually quite serious, as being drunk while in charge of animals can be extremely dangerous.
Shaking Your Rug on the Street Is a Nuisance and Is Banned
In the United Kingdom, it is actually against the law to shake a rug or mat in public. According to the law as per the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 section 60, this activity can create a public nuisance and cause harm to passersby. This law is designed to protect people from being injured by flying debris or tripping on rugs that have been laid out on the pavement.
Whales Need to Be Offered to Reigning Monarchs
The law of beaching whales is an old one, dating back to 1322 when King Edward II decreed that “the head and spermaceti” should belong to him while the rest became property of whoever found it. A similar tradition exists in Iceland – any whale washing ashore must be reported by the local sheriff before either giving them to the queen or king.
Dressing up as a Police Officer under False Pretenses Is an Offense
It is a criminal offense in the United Kingdom to pretend to be a police officer as per The Police Act 1996. This includes dressing as a police officer or carrying any item that could reasonably be mistaken for police equipment. The law is designed to protect the public from being misled by imposters and to prevent criminals from using police uniforms to commit offenses.
Flying a Kite in Public Is Technically Banned
Although it may seem like a fun activity, flying a kite in public is actually against the law in the UK. This regulation was enacted to avoid common nuisances and hazards to nearby residents and wildlife. Kites can get caught in trees or power lines, which can result in damage to property.
This law was brought into effect by the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, section 54.
The United Kingdom is a fascinating place with plenty of quirks and unique laws that make it stand out from the rest of the world. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, it’s always interesting to learn about the hidden rules and regulations that exist in this corner of Europe.
These unique laws were researched by EM Law, a technology lawyer organization based in London.short url: