I suppose when the question is meant to understand legal theories, our when I want to compare approaches between different jurisdictions, then including jurisdiction isn't needed. However, many of my questions are meant to understand legal theories, but folks say that without knowing jurisdiction they can't provide answer. But I also see many opened questions that are really no different than mine, yet include no jurisdiction. So I would like to know when a legal question wouldn't need to include jurisdiction.

Related: What if I want to see answers for other jurisdictions on someone else's question?

1 Answer 1


We really need to get a Jurisdiction Policy in place and put it into some of the help pages ... but based on my review of Q&A to date:

A question need not specify a jurisdiction unless the question does not make sense without one. In which case the question could be closed as "Needs details or clarity."

In fact, even if the asker specifies a jurisdiction, answers for different jurisdictions are welcome as they may be helpful to other visitors with the same question. Given: the structure of SE, the massive number of different legal jurisdictions, and the small number of active answerers; promoting separate instances of the same essential question for myriad other jurisdictions would be far more of a mess than a help to anyone.

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    @Ooker In line with the 2nd paragraph here, oftentimes an answer is versatile and enables the asker/audience to grasp the key concepts or differences he needs to ascertain about the [unspecified] jurisdiction of his interest. In many instances the "need" for specifying a jurisdiction is an overstatement. Dec 25, 2020 at 1:32
  • so when would a question without jurisdiction do not make sense, when basically any answerer can pick a jurisdiction they want?
    – Ooker
    Dec 25, 2020 at 8:51
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    @Ooker generally, yes, but a jurisdiction allows to nail down the needed facts. For example, a globe spanning question on tax evasion is impossible to answer, but one for something tiny like Westchester County could be answered in detail.
    – Trish
    Dec 25, 2020 at 12:51
  • Since I re-brought up the jurisdiction topic recently, I've also been researching past meta Qs to see what policy has been up to this point... I don't at this stage know if one had been fully fleshed out, but I'd like to point out when you say "promoting separate instances of the same essential question for myriad other jurisdictions would be far more of a mess than a help to anyone," the Q you link is really weird for supporting that position, given that the top voted answer on that Q in fact supports separate instances of the same question for other jurisdictions (if not already answered).
    – DPenner1
    Sep 19, 2021 at 6:08

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