UK Coast
January 15, 2018

The Traveller’s Guide to Global Legal Matters

Spending one’s time watching television is perhaps an option one exercises over something like working towards jumping on the plane and visiting their next destination, so it’s an either-or scenario. You seldom get a frequent traveller spending hours in front of the TV, if they watch TV at all. In fact, the in-flight entertainment system is also generally not interacted with all that much by these frequent travellers.

However, leisure travellers who do watch a bit of television would likely catch up on travel shows of all kinds, even those who’ve somehow carved out a way to earn money through their travels. I personally spend quite a bit of time drawing inspiration from the Travel Channel, catching some of their content online through YouTube as well.

Some favourites which come to mind include shows like House Hunters International and the all-time classic, Globe Trekker. There’s even a show featuring two Canadian friends by the name of Josh and Scot, Departures – another all-time favourite which actually brings into focus the topic of this post; global legal matters.

You see shows like Departures depict the smooth-sailing side of the legal matters associated with global travel since the subjects generally stay out of trouble with the law.

Other travel-related shows such as Banged Up Abroad show the other side of the coin, demonstrating through first-hand accounts just how horribly things can go wrong. I swear, even if you’re a bona fide tourist you cannot help but be a bit paranoid. It definitely does happen that the law gets lost in translation, so to say and some people find themselves in very deep legal trouble when it was never their intention to break the law.

Generally though you have nothing to worry about if you only have good intentions and fortunately in this day and age there are many mechanisms in place to help prevent cases of being falsely accused or wrongfully arrested. Travellers who are travelling to, from and through the known drug-source countries often carry the fear of being framed with some drugs planted in their luggage, but the bags you see plastic-wrapped are really being protected in this way as more of a tamper-proof measure to prevent theft of your valuables.

It would have to be a very elaborate conspiracy against you to have illegal goods planted on you, with various records taken during the process of checking your luggage in always there to work in your favour and prove your innocence. For example, your bag is weighed when you check in and if there are any discrepancies as part of a legal dispute, those records can always be referenced to help the case.

Different laws apply in different countries however, so it helps to familiarise yourself with local laws. In some instances you’d have to go as local as perhaps collaborating with locale-specific legal professionals such as Groth & Associates, since this represents how local laws can even vary across state boundaries within the same country.

You may not agree with the local laws of a specific destination you’re visiting, but you must still abide in any case, so it’s best to familiarise yourself with the general laws, the most important of which will naturally be communicated with you quite extensively during the planning process of your trip.