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Dueling Was a Criminal Code Violation

In 2018, the Criminal Code, R.S.C.  1990, c.  C-43, s.71 was amended so to repeal many sections for which societal changes, among other things, made various parts of the law outdated and obsolete.  Among the changes, section 71 of the Criminal Code was repealed.  Interesting, prior to the repealing of section 71, the Criminal Code, while dueling was still a criminal offence, the Criminal Code lacked a definition of dueling.

Interestingly, without a definition of what would actually constitute as a duel, one is left to wonder.  Was participating in a game of 'rock, paper, scissors' a form of unlawful duel?  Was partipating in the song 'dueling banjos' a form of unlawful duel?  Often, when a person thinks of the word duel, visions of knights in armour engaging in jousting, or a ten-steps gun fight in the old west, come to mind.  If indeed that the prohibition against dueling was intended to address jousting knights or cowboys in the wild west, the 2018 repealing of the law against dueling was long over due.

Here specifically is what the Criminal Code previously stated:

71. Every one who

(a) challenges or attempts by any means to provoke another person to fight a duel,

(b) attempts to provoke a person to challenge another person to fight a duel, or

(c) accepts a challenge to fight a duel,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Interestingly, whereas the Criminal Code was silent on a definition of duel; it does appears that Steve Martin and Kermit the Frog were potentially engaging in criminal conduct by participating in a banjo duel!

Note:  This article is provided for 'odd law' parody purposes only and should be reviewed only by persons possessing a sense of humour!

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