Scrapping old laws music to street singers' ears

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London, Mar 19 (UNI) Those who do not appreciate the music of street singers and try to shoo them away would surely be disappointed with British Parliamentary spring clean this year.

A little-known law slapping a 40-shilling fine on noisy bands of street musicians who decline a request to move on is being scrapped by the British Government.

The law introduced in 1839 to deal with a proliferation of Victorian brass bands and street organs is one of the 328 outdated and obsolete pieces of legislation to be declared null.

Laws banning servants from impersonating their master or mistress, as well as those covering turnpikes, Dickensian workhouses and even a 1960s Channel Tunnel plan have also been scrapped, including the Act of 1819 prohibiting unauthorised assemblies for the purpose of weapons training.

''Laws on turnpikes, workhouses, and the Peterloo Massacre may interest historians but retaining them on the statute book can raise people's expectations and invite costly and pointless legal activity,'' the Daily Mail quoted Justice Secretary Jack Straw as saying.

The removal of these redundant pieces of legislation from the statute book helped to simplify and modernise the law, he added.

The 1792 Servants' Characters Act, introduced to prevent servants from supplying false character references or posing as their masters and mistresses is in the list of those been made to go.

It was passed following an outcry over a spate of burglaries of wealthy households thought to have been organised by servants with criminal tendencies.

The oldest law under consideration is the 1695 London to Harwich Roads Act, which allowed county justices to set up turnpikes to collect tolls on the route.


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