Bizarre British Laws

Whilst at work today, several of us got into a discussion about some of the laws in Britain.

Most people knew, for instance, that the death penalty was last carried out in 1964 when Peter Anthony Allen and John Robson Walby were hanged simultaneously.

However, they didn’t realise that capital punishment effectively remained on the statute books until 1971 for arson in Royal dockyards and 1998 for Treason and piracy.


This led to a discussion about some of the bizarre laws that are still in place to this day.

Some of the stranger ones are –

  • It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day
  • Dying in the Houses of Parliament is a criminal offence
  • Sticking a postage stamp upside down is an act of treason if it bears the monarch’s image
  • Being topless in Liverpool is illegal unless you are female and work in a tropical fish store
  • In Scotland it is an offence to prevent someone entering your house if they ask to use the toilet
  • In the UK, a pregnant woman can urinate anywhere she likes, including in a policeman’s helmet
  • If a sturgeon is washed onto the beach it becomes the property of the King
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament whilst wearing armour
  • Within the city of York you may legally murder a Scotsman if he carries a bow and arrows

Do you know any more weird British laws, or do you have anything like this in your country??

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. “It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day”

    WTF ??

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