The Craziest Laws on the Books in Western Countries

Though most countries do a decent job of cleaning up their laws to fit the times, they don’t always get things right. Here are the strangest laws that still exist around the world. 

It’s Not Theft If…

Man shrugging as if to say "oh well"
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France has a law stating you can’t file a theft complaint against a direct relative or spouse. Apparently, they haven’t realized that parents steal from their kids all the time. 

Follow the Bees

a dying bee laying on a dark burnt ground.
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Germany allows beekeepers to trespass on private property if they’re searching for their wayward hive of honeybees. 

Enjoying the Fruits of Private Property

An older woman enjoys the solitude of nature at a river bank in the fall.
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Finnish law states everyone can enjoy the natural beauty and resources of private property if they’re not destroying it for others. Citizens can forage, fish, hike, and ski on private lands if they leave them in good condition. 

Singing in the Streets

woman wearing red blazer singing into a mic on a blue background
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Belgium allows anyone to sing or play an instrument in the streets without fear of a “keeping the peace” fine. One city will fine you if you’re off-key, though. 

You’ll Still Get Paid

A man making it rain with a pile of money in his hand.
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In Canada, an elected official can move out of the country and do literally nothing while still earning a stipend for their time in office. 

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Miniature figure of a police officer standing with a pile of money.
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In Many US states, the police can just take your stuff if they have “probable cause” that it was used in a crime. And since property doesn’t enjoy the same rights as people, they can usually keep it indefinitely without a fair trial. 

Prison Break

A Corrections officer standing in front of a jail cell.
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Many countries don’t have any laws against escaping from prison. Some think it’s perfectly rational that an imprisoned person would want to escape. There’s no law about attempting escape, but you can’t do anything illegal while making the attempt. 

Free Parking

Line up of brightly colored vintage cars that only show the very front of the cars.
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England has few laws helping property owners maintain their parking spots. Anyone can park on private property without permission, and the property owner can’t do anything to move it. 

Child Marriage

Young kids dressed up as a bride and groom.
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Most Western nations scoff at the idea of a young teenager marrying an adult man, but not the United States. Only 10 States completely ban child marriages. In states without laws, girls as young as 12 can get married off with parental consent. 

No Speed Limit

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Germany’s Autobahn is well known for lacking a speed limit. One rich dude raced down the road at over 400 kilometers per hour! That’s about 250 MPH for Americans. 

No Drinking Age

Close up of a man drinking beer from a pint glass at a bar
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European countries didn’t go through the puritanical prohibition stage, so they don’t have the complicated relationship with alcohol that the US does. Many European countries don’t even have minimum drinking ages, while others allow kids as young as 16 to buy beer in bars. 

Here’s Your Tank

American M1 Abrhams tank in a field.
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It’s completely legal for Swedish citizens to own and operate their very own tanks. 


Woman shopping at a pharmacy.
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Many countries prefer to treat addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. In Portugal, nearly all drugs are decriminalized, meaning it’s not illegal to have them for personal use, but it is illegal to sell them. 

A Work Culture That Hurts the Public

man at work looks really bored and unhappy
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America has a horrific work culture designed to enrich the ruling class at all costs. 

Read it Here: America’s Toxic Work Culture

Allowing Legal Scams

woman with mad and confused facial expression holding one hand up as if to say "what?".
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Society is ripe with folks legally scamming you out of your hard earned cash.

Here are the top scams we all just accepted as normal. 

Why No One Wants To Work Anymore

woman throwing papers behind her as she quits her job.
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The common boomer refrain derides younger generations for refusing awful working conditions. Are they right?

Find out why no one wants to work anymore

Is America Actually Dystopian?

Panaoramic of a city with the top mirroring the bottom in a fantastical manner.
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Although there are many fantastic things about living in the US, some of our systems and laws leave many scratching their heads, wondering if we’re already living in a dystopian nightmare. 

Here’s the evidence that makes us wonder if America is actually a dystopia.  

If America is the Best, Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

Woman holding an American Flag over her head.
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Everyone claims America is the best country in the world, but other Western nations put us to shame. Here’s the cool perks other countries provide their citizens that we wish we had in the States

 Source: Reddit

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.