I have been told:

ensure that when you answer a question tagged with a specific jurisdiction, your answer is for that jurisdiction

And that:

Nobody uses tag in their answers.

This seems to be countrary to the guidance here:

Even if you supply a jurisdiction tag, we expect and encourage answers dealing with other jurisdictions – while it might not answer your question directly, your question will be here for others who may be from those jurisdictions. If you do this, please tag your answer using the tag markdown: [tag: some-tag]

I'm also trying to follow the example I see from other frequent contributors:

Because I am a new contributor compared to hszmv, I wonder whether I have misunderstood the policy.

I have always tried to tag any Canada-specific answer as such. I follow the pattern I've observed in other jurisdiction-specific answers that simply place a tag at the top of the answer without additional explanation, as I understood this is what the tag implied. I understood this to imply that the following content is applicable only on the tagged jurisdiction.

  • Is this the correct way to tag an answer as jurisdiction-specific?
  • Should jurisdiction-specific answers include an explicit explainer in text that says material that follows the jurisdiction-specific tag only applies in that jurisdiction?
  • Or is that what is implied by the tag itself?
  • 1
    This has been asked and answered here: law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1252/… Mar 1, 2023 at 20:47
  • 7
    I've offered quite a few answers with embedded jurisdiction tags that are different to the one posed by the question in exactly the same way you have with no (apparent) issues. Occasionally, I add a comment to include the Help Centre guidance, and my reply to your first emboldened question is: Yes.
    – user35069
    Mar 2, 2023 at 8:28
  • 1
    I think the tags on that question are pretty odd; it has nothing special to do with criminal law or California, or at least the OP didn't try to explain why they were interested in that specific combination. In that context I'd think it reasonable to not pay too much attention to the tags. None of the other answers are trying to engage with California criminal law either, but one mentions California in passing.
    – alexg
    Mar 2, 2023 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


I think the procedure followed by Jen in the thread under discussion is exactly correct.

People should be encouraged to post answers for any jurisdiction, even if a different one was clearly specified by the asker.

When giving a jurisdiction-specific answer for a question that specified a different jurisdiction, or did not specify one at all, one should:

  • Include a jurisdiction tag as the first line of the answer, in the format [tag:jurisdiction]
  • Ignore any jurisdiction-specific features of the question that do not fit the jurisdiction assumed for the answer, or mention the corresponding but different aspects of the selected jurisdiction.
  • Optionally mention the jurisdiction of the answer in the body of the answer, as well as in the top line tag. For example, one might write:

In the United States courts do not send inquires to legislatures asking them to clarify their intent ....

I think it is poor practice to downvote answers for following this practice, although of course anyone may downvote any answer for any reason. If I become aware of such a DV, I will seriously consider a compensating upvote, if the answer seems at least reasonable.

The statement that

Nobody uses tag in their answers.

is simply incorrect as a matter of demonstrated practice. A good many regular high-rep posters do exactly this, fairly often. It is the case that SE does not currently support searching on tags in answers. I for one think this would be a good added feature.


For context & personal curiosity, I gathered some stats from Stack Exchange Data Explorer. A query already exists for getting number of Questions & Answers and their average scores by tag, so I went and made a version that specifically selects jurisdiction tags, then further split the answers based on whether they were manually tagged by the user (you can search the text for the special tag markdown/HTML), and whether that tag matches a tag on the question.

Here's the query if you want to run it yourself, note that it took 15 seconds when I executed it. Looking over the stats, there actually wasn't anything I found that was overly surprising/interesting, so here's a bullet point list:

Mildly Interesting Observations

All numbers are at time of writing of course. Most of this is eyeballed because I couldn't be bothered to do rigorous stats, but that is possible with Standard Deviation/Standard Error calculations should you wish to.

  • Question and Answer scores for are an outlier on the high end. Ordered by number of questions, the next non-American jurisdiction with a higher average Question score is , with less than 1% the number of questions!
  • Question scores for and are outliers on the low end. Ordered by number of questions, the next country jurisdiction with a lower average Question score is , with about 0.4% and 1.2% the number of questions, respectively.
  • Unsurprisingly, the more populated and English-speaking jurisdictions have more posts. However, and despite the stats on , this doesn't seem to correlate with the scores overall.
  • There are a total of 42503 Answers, 2434 (5.7%) of those Answers have [tag:markdown] with 308 (0.7%) matching a tag on the associated Question. Restricting to Answers posted in 2023, those numbers are 5447, 1124 (20.6%), 134 (2.5%). Note: this was checked with separate simpler queries that just looked for the syntax, without it necessarily being a jurisdiction tag.
  • Answers which manually tag their jurisdiction score higher than those which don't (correlation is not causation, I would hypothesize that users who manually tag their answers are more careful with their writing in general or are more familiar with the expectations on this site and so score higher)
  • With manually tagged answers, scores for on-jurisdiction answers appear to be higher than off-jurisdiction ones, but the statistical strength is weak. Only 5 jurisdictions had more than 10 on-jurisdiction manually tagged answers. Of these, 4 had higher average scores on-jurisdiction than off, but all save one are within a single standard error (avg off-juris score + std err > avg on-juris score - std err).

Query Notes

  • I had to manually curate the jurisdiction list. The smallest ones got left off for my sanity. I included jurisdictions that had at least 10 Questions or at least 2 manually tagged Answers in 2022-2023 (as I was originally filtering to those years)
  • I didn't bother dealing with tag synonyms or misspelled manual tagging in Answers, they seemed to be a small percentage in any case.
  • The query is specifically searching for the HTML rendered by the [tag:markdown] syntax in answers. In case there exists more than one, it takes the first one only.
  • The query I based this on included the standard deviation for Scores. I was more interested in analyzing the average score instead of the spread, so I replaced it with the standard error of the mean.
  • For interest, I included the , and tags.
  • 1
    england-and-wales low score for questions is to a good degreethe work of one particular user as far as I can tell.
    – Trish
    Feb 3 at 10:18
  • Good point, and I'd note that most jurisdiction tags could potentially be skewed by very few highly active users.
    – DPenner1
    Feb 3 at 23:02

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