In the Media

Australia jettisons curbs that make ass of the law

PUBLISHED October 7, 2004

A bizarre set of laws dating back to 12th century England, which prohibits the wearing of slippers outdoors and fortune-telling in flea markets, is to be scrapped by an Australian state in a belated recognition of their obsolescence.

The laws, which technically still apply in Queensland, deem it to be illegal to "walk outside the home at night wearing felt or other slippers, to "pretend to tell fortunes" at flea markets or to be found in a stable or coach-house with "a dark lantern, electric torch or silent matches". Offenders are liable for a fine of A$100 (£40)or six months in prison.