Belgian Law is Hard To Believe That It Still Exists Today

What crazy things will you get imprisoned for? Figure out the incredible, funny and strange legislation in Belgium – and which eccentric Belgian laws are only myths you should not think.

Whether you are just visiting or residing in Belgium, it is essential to know about local Belgian laws so that you do not wind up in jail or accountable for breaking them no how bizarre of a law it seems to be.

Belgium’s standing for bizarre legislation has grown into heritage via media sites across the globe.

However, these are only Belgian law myths which exist only in the heads of ‘gullible pundits’ and, of course, on networking sites, writes legislation specialist Jogchum Vrielink on Fans of Flanders, saying that a lot of Belgium’s’eccentric’ or ‘bizarre’ legislation have very little basis in fact or are the extreme exaggeration or out-of-context.

Nevertheless, the genuine Belgian laws are only as bizarre as the urban myths. Lots of Belgium’s stranger legislation are eccentric for being obsolete, nevertheless comprehensible or significant for legislators at that moment. With countless rulers including legislations that exist now, some of Belgium’s laws come around as astoundingly odd.

Belgium was the next nation in the world to legalise homosexual marriage in 2003, two years following the Netherlands, in addition to the next nation to prohibit forced union in 2006.

Belgium has been the world’s first nation to ban cluster bombs. Belgium is among those rare countries that legally mandates compulsory schooling around 18 years old, among the greatest ages on the planet.

It’s compulsory by law to vote in Belgium, and rigorously enforced, among the few nations on earth to achieve that. Betting at a House poker game is prohibited in Belgium

The Belgian laws limiting games of chance’ imply that prohibitions apply to industrial competitions, sweepstakes, lotteries organized by advertisers and perhaps even personal poker games and bingo games, if you don’t get a license in the ‘Kansspelcommissie’ or nobody wins any monetary advantage. On the flip side, a law because 1851 has awarded the Belgian National Lottery a monopoly on tackling each of lottery and scratch card games.

Belgian authorities are prohibited from night-time raids

Some media sources assert this 1969 Belgian statute let the escape of a few of those Paris bombers residing in Belgium, that couldn’t be chased by authorities until daylight hours.

This legislation originally banned nighttime police raids on private houses as a civilian thought to protect family privacy — but a law which recent terrorism incidents have revealed needs an urgent inspection.

You can drive directly into oncoming traffic

A motorist that would like to become a street, in spite of a high flow of visitors, generally has right of way unless otherwise indicated with a signal. This implies that if you’re driving on a street and a vehicle approaches from a little country road to a right, you need to slow down and allow them in. There were discussions in the past couple of decades, nevertheless, about abolishing this principle.

For cyclists, in some one-way streets they’re permitted to ride in the two directions if indicated by a traffic signal, even if automobile traffic is simply one time.

Now’s Belgian tricolour flag of yellow, black and crimson contradicts the Belgian Constitution that says the’Belgian Nation adopts crimson, black and yellow because of its colors’.

The first Belgian flag did go through several shuffles following the Belgian revolution of 1830, starting out as red over yellow over black, with horizontal lines instead of the vertical ones, but afterwards was calibrated using a transformed color order for a variety of reasons (one like to distance from the flat Dutch flag and also align with the perpendicular French one). What did not occur, but was an upgrade of this draft Constitution, resulting in nearly two decades of a constitution contradiction.

The Dutch were banished forever from holding public or power authority in Belgium when a decree at 1830 debarred members of this House of Orange-Nassau (now’s Dutch royal household ). Implemented after the principle of Dutch King William I between 1815 and 1830, a few may say the Belgian revolutionaries discovered William’s principle to be satisfactory. Therefore, the legislation prohibits the Dutch royal family by holding the throne or some other place in the public business or standing for elections in Belgium. Since the legislation is thought to have constitutional status, abolishing it’s a challenging procedure.

Belgium permits the private possession of cannabis

Though Belgium historically had a rigorous stance towards all medications, Belgium relaxed their legislation on the private possession of cannabis in 2003. Now in Belgium it’s lawful to get up to 3g of cannabis. Recent remarks have triumphed at stricter policies but will probably mostly impact smoking in people, whilst ownership has been still be legal.

Even though the Congo declared independence in 1960, the Belgian King Philippe could by legislation mobilise the’Belgian-Congo’ army and require any necessary means to safeguard the nation in a war epidemic, or even execute proactive steps in times of peace. Obviously, this is a regulation which hasn’t yet been invoked considerably in the last couple of decades.

These were a variety of comparatively minor legislation, with penalties up to EUR 250, introduced in 1999 to provide local governments power to deal with petty nuisances that frequently went unpunished. Lots of municipalities utilized GAS to pay their’civic responsibility’, as an instance, limiting children’s matches for security reasons.

While many of those legal provisions were straightforward, including vandalism, littering and noise complaints, other replicated codes obsolete to the 19th century, comprising provisions with a few bizarre examples of behavior that may be — and was fined in certain municipalities, such as:

In Leuven, road musicians could be fined for enjoying off-key when it disturbs public order or calmness.

Kids may be fined for scaling trees in Sint-Niklaas, even in public locations.

Cat-lovers can be given a GAS nice in Lier should they maintain over five cats at an apartment.

You’ll be able to be given a GAS good for protesting that a GAS nice, as noticed in Antwerp when sailors protested law.

Lede just allows games in people which are made as such; other matches need written consent from the mayor, a person to manage security precaution, insurance policy of possible damages and all filed at least eight times beforehand.

Back in Ieper, folks hazard a GAS fine should they don’t alert the municipality when road signals have become illegible.

Arendonk’s inhabitants could be penalized if they don’t notify the regional government should they visit either the oak-processionary or even brown-tail caterpillars.

Arendonk bans anglers being farther than 9.85ft (3m) in their fishing pole. Dogs and oxen could be requisitioned to propel military vehicles

Several of Belgians bizarre laws revolve round the pursuit of advancing technologies. 1 such law relationship to 1939 worries the army, which orders that ‘beasts of burden (horses, oxen, dogs, etc.. )’ could be requisitioned for almost any vehicles utilized by the military. Although, maybe that would not be helpful if a drone operates out of gas.

You can keep your Final pig, cow, goats, cows and sheep

To safeguard a minimum degree of living conditions and that means, Belgian laws supplies a list of things that in principle can’t ever be captured by a bailiff. Even though a useful listing, it comprises some obsolete elements like livestock — especially 1 pig or cow, 12 goats or cows or 24 hens — and a month’s of livestock feed which you’re able to keep. It’s yet to be seen if that legislation would shield the cows and pork fillets on your own freezer.

In agricultural reforms in 1866, so as to prevent abuse the gleaning sector gave rise to, a legislator tried to help the requirements of the weak by allowing only’older, cripples [sic], girls, and kids below 12 decades old’ to pick up the remains of plants left following harvesting or gleaning. Interestingly, such sorts of individuals were granted consent to unsubscribe from sunrise until sunset, but only as long as they did this manually; utilizing a iron rake has been penalised.

Wives can market their husbands’ commercial products

Another category of odd Belgian laws revolves round obsolete gender roles.

A number of these discriminatory provisions and laws are amended or repealed, but the Code of Commerce (article 10) still permits for (just ) married girls into’peddle merchandise from her husband’s company’, and without being subject to the duties of retailers.

Unusual legislation from mistranslations

Unusual laws also appear from nothing aside from mistakes made by previous legislators. A frequent source of those mistakes has emerged from the nation’s multiple languages.
 1 such instance is an oath which interpreters lawfully must read in some asylum processes, which can be a jumble of primitive phrases and mistranslations in the French edition.

Recently resisted eccentric Belgian laws

Even though the majority of the early laws are barely enforced, Belgian legislators have undertaken some attempt to seek out and repeal obsolete laws in previous decades.

Some abolished laws Which Were in circulation until just recent decades include:

It had been prohibited for foreigners residing in Belgium to own pigeons, unless special permission was acquired in the ministry of justice. Although apparently eccentric, the supply was a part of a law against 1923 led to the possible army and intelligence use of pigeons in that moment.

Until 2005 just the Belgian authorities was permitted to publish posters and notices employing white paper and black ink, relationship to some decree from the 1790s, forcing private citizens into using colored paper only. The thought was to describe the standing of every note. Efforts are aimed to annul this legislation although largely with the intent of producing a true Dutch interpretation, since the legislation was in French only.


A legislation permitting penalty mitigation for killing or raping someone in a duel was recently repealed, but in the time of enactment in 1841 it had been quite innovative. The offender provisions were meant to pay the impunity of both duellers that were frequently prosecuted, even though victorious, as well as the provisions additionally criminalised sparking a duel, occasionally penalised more than really duelling, or behaving as a witness in a duel.

The authorities also lost the capacity to prohibit the selling or supply of ‘lewd foreign books’ in just 2009, that had witnessed several 1,500 titles blacklisted because the law’s implantation in 1936. The legislation, however, had fallen largely from disuse since the 1970s and lots of the blacklisted publications are considered much less disgusting than that which is printed in the modern nudity magazines and on the internet. In an intriguing contradiction, Belgium is the only nation that has never enforced censorship on mature movies.