(Photo: David Ball)
But that may change. A British government task force is looking through 44,000 pieces of legislation, some dating back to the 13th Century, to identify obsolete laws for Parliament to eliminate. Among them are laws about wearing armor inside the Houses of Parliament and beating rugs outside. Stephen Castle writes in the New York Times:
Over the centuries, rules have piled up to penalize those who fire a cannon within 300 yards of a dwelling and those who beat a carpet in the street — unless the item can be classified as a doormat and it is beaten before 8 a.m.
The commission has also debunked many popular myths about laws that are allegedly still on the books:
The commission has found no evidence, for example, of any law stating that, in the city of Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless in public except while working as a clerk in a tropical fish store.
Nor is it true that a man may urinate in public, providing he does so against the rear-passenger-side wheel of his vehicle, with his right hand placed upon it.