dimanche, février 12, 2006
Carnival and Caricature
As Carnival and the revelling associated thereto approaches I remembered the provisions of the Code of Criminal laws - in particular the provisions relating to contraventions against public order. Minor crimes, but illegal nonetheless in Catholic Malta.
Code of Criminal Laws (Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta)
Extracts from article 338 which lists contraventions against public order.
338. Every person is guilty of a contravention against public order, who -
(l) taking advantage of the credulity of others, for the purpose of gain, pretends to be a diviner, fortune-teller
or an interpreter of dreams;
(n) in any public place, wears any mask, or disguises himself, except at the time and in the manner allowed by law;
(o) without permission, or against the prohibition of the respective authorities, wears any civil, naval, military or air force uniform, or any ecclesiastical habits or vestments;
(q) in the harbours, on the seashore or in any other public place, exposes himself naked or is indecently dressed;
(r) in any street, or open space, quarrels or fights, although jestingly, to the annoyance or injury of passers-by;
(s) drives animals (whether of burden or riding animals) over a drawbridge, with or without a vehicle, otherwise than at an amble;
(v) causes any physician, surgeon, obstetrician, or clergyman, to attend on or visit any person whom he falsely represents to be sick;
(w) leads an idle and vagrant life;
(bb) even though in a state of intoxication, publicly utters any obscene or indecent words, or makes obscene acts or gestures, or in any other manner not otherwise provided for in this Code, offends against public morality, propriety or decency;
(cc) runs violently in any street or open space, with the risk of running into and injuring other persons;
(dd) in any manner not otherwise provided for in this Code, wilfully disturbs the public good order or the public peace.
Contrary to popular belief, the prohibition of impersonation or caricaturisation of politicians is not included in the police laws or in the Criminal Code but are the rules of the organisers of il-Karnival ta' Malta. For offending caricatures suitable only for a mature audience go to Gozo... Nadur to be exact. If you do not like the idea or find it offensive in any way... a Nadur logo for drawing onto a flag to burn is available here (as is the full carnival programme which includes the new etnika show).