Re "Impossible. The last government alone passed some 3000 new laws" - - @ AC
"Impossible. The last government alone passed some 3000 new laws".
Absolutely correct! Long before Dreyfus and Zola, 'that ignorance of the law is no defence', was a fundamental conundrum for democracy (and, more than ever, it still is).
No one in a democracy has a hope in Hades of being knowledgeable about all its laws. Thus, by definition (through logical argument) the 'democratic' state is both intimidatory and not democratic (at least in my understanding of the word).
Any true law-abiding citizen would have to end up schizophrenic or do absolutely nothing for fear of breaking the law. The only other option is to put oneself in jeopardy and act without knowledge of the law—thus the conundrum. There is, of course, that other option which is for one to deliberately act unlawfully.
This reasoning is as is old as the hills, it goes back to the Ancient Greeks/Pythagoras who was attributed with saying "No man is free who cannot command himself." Millennia later,  in Book I, Chapter I of the The Social Contract Rousseau develops the idea with is famous statement:
"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they." (p49 in my now very-yellowed Penguin Classic paperback—having just checked it.)
Whilst Rousseau and his contemporary, Diderot, had the noble intention of pointing out that citizens were better off submitting to the The General Will of [all] the population than to be subservient to the will of more powerful individuals, it did nothing to stop the French Revolution of 1789 and The Terror which followed—albeit that The Social Contract was published over a quarter century earlier. In fact, The Social Contract is often attributed with contributing, even causing, the Revolution by fuelling the discontent.
What I find so concerning is that so few citizens actually find this seeming paradox disturbing (i.e.: of there being no excuse for violating laws that cannot be substantially let alone fully known). In truth, it's definitely no paradox but a very unpalatable anomaly in our 'supposed' democracies that's used to keep the citizenry in check. Even though several centuries have passed—not to mention the many intervening wars and revolutions—since those famous words in The Social Contract, it seems, from prevailing attitudes, that little hindsight has been gained (and that history is again repeating itself).
With a moment's thought, its consequences are clear: (a) most citizens never extend their freedom to the full extent for fear of 'unknown' law, (b) the bold and unlawful ignore such constraints and thus are often more successful in life than their law-abiding brethren, and (c) those in power exploit the anomaly to both the The State's and their own advantage (à la 'Yes Minister' and even more sinister—such as sending young soldiers off to war to be killed in the name of non-existent WMDs for instance).
Remember, the more The State allows those to obfuscate in its name—no matter what the excuse—the fewer freedoms citizens have. Overwhelming citizens with tens of thousands of laws which they can never expect to fully understand is obfuscation, and every new law that's passed further restricts a citizen's freedom.