Other legal blogs - or blawgs are they are sometimes vulgarly known - can eat their hearts out. The rabbit is at the cutting edge of legal blogging yet again with
a topic that has exercised the finest jurisprudential minds way back to - erm - someone or the other, namely is farting legal?
This grave and weighty question is now somewhat controversial in Malawi due to the Local Courts Bill, about to begin its majestic progress through the Malawian parliament and containing the following: 'any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public, to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour'.
Malawian Justice Minister George Chaponda who is actually a trained lawyer opines that the new bill would criminalise flatulence to promote 'public decency'. 'Just go to the toilet when you feel like farting' our man has helpfully explained.
This unusual construction of the clause in the bill has been contradicted by Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga, who says the reference to 'fouling the air' means pollution. 'How any reasonable or sensible person can construe the provision to criminalising farting in public is beyond me' he said, adding that the prohibition contained in the new law has been in place since 1929.
Speaking as a reasonable or sensible rabbit, there is no dissent from here. Mr Chaponda is warming to his theme, however. 'Would you be happy to see people farting anyhow?' he enquired on Malawi's Capital radio. Anyone with an answer to this question should drop a line forthwith to the minister at...
Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
Private Bag 333, Lilongwe 3, MALAWI, Central Africa.
Tel : (+265) 1 788 411
Fax : (+265) 1 788 332/841
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
No doubt Mr Chaponda would find any feedback valuable. Best not to mention the clip below to him, though... Hat Tip to Mahal