An amusing case - weird and wonderful laws

A performance during Law Week on amusing legal casesA cheeky show for legal eagles and law nerds is bringing some of the most amusing and absurd laws to light during Law Week.

Did you know that in Victoria it is an offence to harness a dog or goat to a vehicle and drive it through a public area?

It's one of the more unusual laws popping up during Law Week in a performance that pokes good fun at the law.

The show was inspired by the old Argus newspaper, which ran a weekly column on absurd laws and cases. The columnist was a court reporter who sat in the court of Petty Sessions taking notes on the most amusing cases of the week.

‘In the show we feature some of the peculiar plaintiffs, dreadful defendants and ludicrous laws that illuminate Victoria’s legal past,’ says Jessica Simmons, National Trust program developer. ‘We’ve used some of the original dialogue from those cases.

‘We also look at current laws that are a bit quirky, and probably not applied very often, but obviously still serve a purpose.’

The show is being staged in Courtroom One of the former Magistrates’ Court of Melbourne, near the Old Melbourne Goal. Though its last case was held in 1994, the courtroom, with its imposing architecture and refined woodwork, still carries an echo of the buzz, nerves and adrenaline that once emanated from the throngs in the tiny bluestone courtyard outside the court.

‘The idea is the audience will come in with the expectation they will be entertained, but may have to jump in and play a role. We’re going to bring it to life, it will be a lot of fun,’ says Ms Simmons, who is performing alongside Patrick Watt, manager Burke Museum and Jo Clyne, manager History Teachers’ Association of Victoria.

After the performance, a legal panel will work their legal magic and unravel the absurd laws that keep us entertained. On the panel is the Honourable Judge Jane Patrick, barrister Kylie Weston-Scheuber and Senior Detective Constable Christopher Foster.

For more information visit the Law Week event page.


Thursday 18 May 2017
6.00 pm to 7.30 pm


Former Melbourne Magistrates’ Court
Old Melbourne Goal,
377 Russell Street, Melbourne

Performance by the International Museum Theatre Alliance
Presented by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

This page was last updated on May 11, 2017