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New laws a whole lot of hot air?

New laws a whole lot of hot air?

We've all been there: sweating it out on a packed, peak-hour train on a humid summer's day, or squishing against our colleagues in the lift, when someone drops one. Nobody ever owns up to it,…

We've all been there: sweating it out on a packed, peak-hour train on a humid summer's day, or squishing against our colleagues in the lift, when someone drops one.

Nobody ever owns up to it, and we all make silent accusations depending on who is looking the least repulsed by the highly inappropriate flatulent act.

But for one government, enough is enough. There will soon be no more awkward, revolting public displays of farting. Yep, the government of Malawi, a nation of around 13 million in south east Africa, is banning farting in public and those who breach the laws are liable to be punished in the local courts.

As reported in Malawi's Nyasa Times, the government intends to ensure that "people who enjoy fouling air should be punishable by law" if the Local Courts Bill 2010 is passed through parliament.

The bill seeks to introduce a new genre of courts, to be named Local Courts, which will have the primary function of dishing out "familiar and affordable justice for the ordinary Malawian in line with the spirit of the Constitution, which aims at enhancing the right of access to justice by all citizens".

But the leader of the opposition is concerned, saying that the establishment of such a "kangaroo-like court" will not be ideal for upholding democracy.

"The people of this country cannot, in fairness, appreciate the integrity of this proposal," he told a local radio station.

But it's not just public farters who need to beware: The bill also intends to punish "idle, drunken and disorderly" people who cause nuisances, those who hinder the burial of a dead body, rogues and vagabonds, those who endanger or obstruct the public "line of navigation", those who insult the modesty of a woman, and those who unlawfully use vehicles and animals.

Folklaw wonders just how these new laws are going to be enforced and proven, especially given the notoriously difficult nature of identifying who exactly let fluffy off the chain. After all, isn't the general rule, 'He who snuffed it fluffed it?'

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