America's northern neighbor just doubled down on cool (and toil and trouble, too). According to Broadly, the Canadian government is revising its criminal code to remove or rewrite a few ye olde laws and regulations. Broadly reports that in the process of updating the bylaws, Justin Trudeau and Co. legalized dueling and witchcraft.
As it stands, section 365 of Canada's criminal code states that it is actually illegal to "pretend to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration," "tell fortunes," and feign knowledge related to where or how something that is lost or stolen can be retrieved.
If it seems like nothing more than a quick update, know that Canada's witchcraft law has actually been challenged. It's not for curses and spells, however. Instead, most of the cases involve fraud. Broadly cites a 2012 case in which someone charged another individual $14,000 to lift a curse. Another case in 2009 involved an individual posing as a spirit. In fraud cases, the witchcraft charge is generally dropped after a final decision is made.
Practitioners of magic feared that anything that they did — reading tarot cards, for instance — could be seen as fraud and have been working to repeal or revise the law for some time.
"The witchcraft provisions in the criminal code reflect a culture, perspective, and legal system of an entirely different era. They are reminiscent of a time when women who did not conform to societal norms were not only shunned, but penalized," Omar Ha-Redeye, a Toronto-based lawyer, told Broadly. "These provisions also reflect a primarily Christian mindset, where non-Christian traditions, including what we now may refer to as Wicca, totemism, or animism, or other traditions, were demonized as being evil. It's perhaps no surprise then that even today these provisions are used primarily against women or against people who follow non-mainstream religious traditions."
As for dueling, it'll be legal as long as it's completely nonviolent, Smithsonian Magazine reports. No pistols, swords, or anything of the like. Initiating a duel with a glove to the face? We're guessing that'll be okay. Before the change, challenging someone to a duel and accepting one could result in two years of prison time.
The last duel-related death happened back in 1833, proving that plenty of laws stick around way longer than they have to.