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 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.
    – Rick
    Mar 2 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 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


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.

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