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that the convictions were erroneous.” This became all the more provocative when the men were later acquitted of all crimes. Although his body began to deteriorate, his brilliant mind remained and so, in 1984, Denning returned to the place where it all began; Whitchurch. Forthright, opinionated, and at times provocative, Denning was never too far from the eye of the storm. However, he arguably encapsulated all that is good about the British. A fierce advocate of the law and the rights of the common man, Alfred Denning combined unquestionable intellectuality with a burning desire to always make decisions based upon

sound moral reasoning; “Without morality there is no law” he remarked. Having lived a life with two happy marriages, Denning died at the age of 100 at Hampshire County Hospital, and as tributes poured in from judges and politicians alike, the “People’s Judge” was fêted for one last time. Put simply, without question, his legacy will forever be that he helped to shape the legal fraternity we see today.●

ODDITIES WITHIN BRITISH LAW Sam Porter Have you ever carried a plank along a pavement? Shaken a rug or slid on ice or snow in the street? If so, you could be charged with a crime! Despite the efforts of a statute law revision team since, who have abolished 2,000 obsolete laws since 1965, there are still several anomalous laws forming part of our constitution. In this article we look at some of the seemingly more absurd ones. “All whales and sturgeon caught on the British coast are property of the crown” Unlike some other seemingly absurd laws, this piece of legislation has proven relevant to recent events, as in the case of Robert Davies, a fisherman from Llanelli, who was left in a bizarre situation after catching a 120kg sturgeon in Swansea Bay in 2004. Mr. Davies promptly sent a fax the royal household to offer the sturgeon to Her Majesty the Queen, but was pardoned and told to ‘dispose of it as he saw it’; the fisherman decided to offer the ‘catch of his life’ up for auction when he landed in Plymouth. Yet Mr. Davies was flabbergasted when the £700 sale of the fish was halted by police and DEFRA officials; unbeknown to Mr. Davies, the sale of sturgeon is in

fact illegal, as they are listed as endangered species. This ultimately meant that Mr. Davies had contravened UK law, despite abiding by the seldom known royal ownership decree placed upon sturgeon with the Prerogativa Regis of 1324. Eventually though, and quite fairly, no charges were brought upon the unfortunate Mr. Davies. “It is illegal to handle salmon in suspicious circumstances” This law was passed in 1986 as part of the Salmon Act, to regulate Salmon dealing in Scotland, England and Wales. To our knowledge the three month prison sentence this crime carries has not been used. The Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act of 1849 gave rise to laws which nowadays seem very bizarre. The purpose of such laws was to eradicate what were seen as ‘nuisances in thoroughfares’ in the early 19th century. Examples include: “It is illegal to beat or shake a carpet or rug in any street. But it is legal to beat or shake a doormat in the street providing you do so before 8am” “It is illegal to carry a plank along a pavement”●

The Clarion-Winter 2013

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The Clarion  

The Winter 2013 issue of The Clarion - journal of Marling School law society

The Clarion  

The Winter 2013 issue of The Clarion - journal of Marling School law society

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