Eborn Legal Review – edited by Andrew Eborn – Halloween Special /weird laws

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Eborn Legal Review – edited by Andrew Eborn

Halloween Special

Whilst we are drowning in a sea of bad news there are some brilliant rays of light including significant advances in technology and medicine and the return of live events and conferences.

I have just come back from the TV and film festival in Cannes. In addition to Octopus TV’s own projects, I was again hosting The Drama Awards, launching another new global game show for TBS – the creators of Takeshi’s Castle and Ninja Warriors – as well as presenting various sessions on tech & creativity and the future of broadcasting and programme production.

There were 11,000 delegates from 108 countries. It was like a great family reunion.   

Upon my return I was delighted to again go to Comicon at EXCEL centre where cosplayers came out in force dressed up as their favourite characters from Marvel, DC  comics, anime, sci fi and aa wide range of movie and TV brands. I love travelling to Comicon and seeing the faces of commuters as they share their journeys with every shape and size of Storm Troopers, Batman, Wonderwoman and characters from Dr Who, The Sandman ( including Desire!) and Stranger Things.

The global cosplay costumes market was valued at $4.625 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $23 Billion by 2030. That is a compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2030 of 17.4%.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is the rate of return (RoR) for an investment from its beginning balance to its ending balance assuming profits were reinvested.

CAGR is one of the most accurate ways to calculate and determine returns for anything that can rise or fall in value over time. The CAGR does not, however, reflect investment risk.
Comicon took place immediately before Halloween enabling Cosplayers to pick their latest outfits for trick or treating.

Laws around the world vary regarding how/if people can celebrate Halloween.

Generally, most laws prevent anti-social behaviour and danger to the public.

Don’t dress as a police officer

s 90 Police Act 1996 Impersonation of a Police Officer

(1)Any person who with intent to deceive impersonates a member of a police force or special constable, or makes any statement or does any act calculated falsely to suggest that he is such a member or constable, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

(2)Any person who, not being a constable, wears any article of police uniform in circumstances where it gives him an appearance so nearly resembling that of a member of a police force as to be calculated to deceive shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(3)Any person who, not being a member of a police force or special constable, has in his possession any article of police uniform shall, unless he proves that he obtained possession of that article lawfully and has possession of it for a lawful purpose, be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

(4)In this section—

(a)“article of police uniform” means any article of uniform or any distinctive badge or mark or document of identification usually issued to members of police forces or special constables, or anything having the appearance of such an article, badge, mark or document,

Level 1£200
Level 2£500
Level 3£1,000
Level 4£2,500
Level 5Unlimited (for offences committed after 13 March 2015)*

In Barbados it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing. Liable to fines

In 2014, the country of Jordan banned all public celebrations of Halloween. The U.S. embassy advised U.S. citizens to “expect police reaction, including arrests, at any public Halloween-themed event. The U.S. Embassy advises that U.S. citizens traveling from their home to a Halloween party, or vice versa, cover up their costumes while in public or in a car.”

Bellville in Missouri no child above the eighth grade is allowed to trick or treat.
It is illegal for under 12s to wear a mask in public. You can only “solicit” candy between 5 and 8:30 p.m. 

In Barcelona it is an offence to wear a bikini, swimming trunks or to go bare-chested away from the beach front area in Barcelona. Liable to fines

Chesapeake, Virginia, anyone over 14 risked imprisonment for trick or treating until a review in 2019.

Several places have restrictions on the wearing of face coverings (other than Covid-19 masks) in public

The New York penal code provides that it is illegal “…to congregate in public with two or more people while each is wearing a mask or any face covering disguising their identity,”

The law was enacted in 1845 to prevent “tenant farmers” from disguising themselves and attacking police in response to “…lowering of wheat prices.”

In Dublin, Georgia anyone under the age of 16 is not allowed to wear a mask in public.

In Walnut Creek, California a licence is needed from the sheriff to cover for your face.

In California, private companies reserve the right to ban costumes on their premises altogether.

In Hollywood, California, it’s illegal to possess, use, sell or distribute silly string in public areas during Halloween. You can be fined $1,000.

Following a spate of clown attacks, the 6,000-strong village of Vendargues in southern France issued an order banning individuals or groups of people aged 13 or more from dressing up as clowns on streets and in public spaces on October 31st and November 1st to “avoid any disruption… by evil clowns,” After November 1st any teenager wanting to dress up as a clown will have to ask for official authorization.

In 2013 in Swaziland a law was introduced making it illegal for witches to fly their brooms above 150 m. Arrest and fine of R500,000 ( South African Rand c

In Rehoboth. Delware, the City code last amended in 1977 says it is illegal to go trick-or-treating on Sundays. It also puts an age limit of 14 on trick-or-treating. Kids are, however, free to march in parades or enter costume contests on Sundays if the event is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce or a local service club. “It’s just one of those old ordinances in Rehoboth that hasn’t been updated yet,” Krys Johnson Rehoboth spokesperson said. The city doesn’t have a lot of kids anyway, she added, and it’s mostly local businesses that give away candy.

There are also various religious restrictions

Alabama people may not dress as ministers from any religion. Those breaking the rules risk fines up to $500 or maximum term in prison of 1 year.

Under Alabama law, it is also illegal to wear a fake beard or moustache that causes laughter in church. The law provides “if someone (without lawful authority) disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons they have committed the crime of disorderly conduct. A person who is convicted of this crime faces up to three months in jail and a fine as high as five hundred dollars.”


Speaking of facial hair, for the last 12 years I have been helping raise both awareness and money for Movember in aid of cancer & mental health .  


Through your generosity several thousands of pounds have been raised and lives saved.

Let’s be the generation who talks about mental health so the next generation does not suffer the stigma.

Please give whatever you can for this fantastic cause and encourage others to do so as well.

Please donate NOW


I’d love to stay and chat but moustache …


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