Czech lawmakers greenlight removal of 10,000 outdated laws from legal rolls

The list includes everything from a ban on exporting sugar to an arcane regulation regarding celibacy for teachers.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 14.07.2023 14:22:00 (updated on 14.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Over 10,000 outdated laws, regulations, and directives that are still formally valid, but not used anymore will likely be deleted from the Czech legal order as of next year under a government bill that the Senate, the upper house of the Czech parliament, passed yesterday. "This means sweeping the garbage out of the legal system," Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told senators when defending the draft.

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, approved the bill that is to make the legal system more transparent and comprehensible in early June. President Petr Pavel is now expected to sign it into law.

Over 6,600 outdated regulations will be promptly abolished. Additionally, approximately 3,600 regulations, which were invalidated by later legal provisions, will be explicitly canceled. A document listing the names of all the laws itself spans over 1,400 pages.

Relics of the world wars and communist era

The regulations that the government has proposed to cancel include laws dating from 1918 to the present. Many of the laws dealt with issues related to World War I, World War II, and their aftermath. These range from production regulations and price caps for food and clothing to reparations of damages.

Many also dealt with financial issues such as exchanging one and two Czechoslovak crown banknotes, the validity of Hungarian tax stamps, payment of war bonds, and a law authorizing the government to take out a loan in Italian lira.

Later laws from the communist era concern everything from soap and bread rationing to accounting guidelines for various state enterprises and rules for foreign trade.

 Some of the stranger laws in the list include:

  • Rewards for whistleblowers of tax offenses
  • A ban on celibacy requirements for female teachers in public and civic schools
  • A requirement for female teachers to get permission to marry
  • A ban on the export of sugar
  • The establishment of a ministry for telephones and telegraphs
  • Regulations on folk clothing (related to World War I shortages)
  • The establishment of an association of potato dryers
  • The prohibition of the production of beer substitutes
  • A ban on the use of sugar in the production of beer
  • A requirement for certificates to transport vinegar
  • A prohibition on publishing military news in newspapers

In 2019, the government of Andrej Babiš (ANO) approved a proposal from the Interior Ministry that several hundred redundant regulations be repealed. However, the parliament did not manage to pass it during its previous term so the process had to start over, and the ministry submitted the bill again, this time with an even more extensive list.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more