Legal Matters for Frequent Travellers

While the novelty of becoming part of the jetsetter’s club never really wears off, once you’ve had a few trips under your belt and a growing collection of passport stamps to signify your travel experience, looking back on your first few trips could make for some scary thoughts. You might mull over the fact that you were in actually fact under-prepared, especially when it comes to issues such as the legalities surrounding your travels.

What would you have done for example if you’d landed in some hot water? Are you familiar with procedures surrounding prosecution and defence in the country you were visiting?

Familiarising yourself with the general laws

Even if you were to cross borders into your nearest neighbouring country, chances are the law of the land will be different to that of your native land, however slight those differences may be in some instances. What you need to remember though is that for the most part laws are based or derived from a predominant religion which has been most widely practiced in that region, so there are some specific laws which you may need to be aware of which are totally different from those you’re familiar with.

In some countries in the Middle East for example, the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited and against the law, while in other territories located in the same region the law only applies to public spaces. E.g. in Dubai it’s a case of whatever happens behind closed doors (like in your hotel’s resident bar) is your business, but what typically happens in those indoor spaces is illegal as soon as you step outside.

Common sense usually always prevails

This is just a general rule because in some instances laws clearly aren’t formulated following the application of common sense. Otherwise there are just some things you know are wrong and which you know you shouldn’t do anywhere you go, so don’t do them.

It’s not about what you think is wrong or right, but rather about what’s defined to be right or wrong. For example, there are at least two Asian countries I’ve heard of in which you’re at fault as the driver if someone rams you from behind. Yeah, I know, but that’s how it is, so in such a situation you wouldn’t be able to argue on the basis of common sense to trump the law. The law is the law and it applies to everyone, including tourists.

Access to competent legal counsel

It’s important to ensure you’re on the right side of the law, wherever it is you go because in some countries the punishment for legal delinquency can be really harsh. Access to competent legal counsel is a must, even if all you do is make sure to identify the legal services providers you’d reach out to should the need arise. A specialist such as a local Bellevue car accident lawyer makes for the best choice since these types of legal specialists are familiar with the local laws to the finest details as dictated to by political boundaries such as the state lines within which they operate. It also helps if as is the case in this instance you can get a free consultation.

Krissy Georgiadis

Written by Krissy Georgiadis

Law graduate and wanderlust sufferer. I like rum and beaches.