Well, the title says it.

  1. The tag has two questions. They're asking whether something is legal. They're not otherwise related.
    Moments ago, I removed the tag from the question Is license required to sell songs replayed on a virtual instrument? There's a tag, which it should have been tagged with to start with.

  2. A great deal of our questions ask whether something is legal or not; this doesn't mean they should be tagged as such, because whether or not something is legal should not determine whether or not users are able to answer it.

  3. This kind of tagging is not useful for categorising questions, at least for our purposes. It doesn't help users find questions, at all.

For the above reasons, my proposal is that the tag be removed from those two questions and then the tag blacklisted.

To be clear, this does not mean that we will not be able to have tags containing legal. Tags must just not consist entirely of .

Additionally, I would like to propose that we pre-emptively blacklist , as it would fill that void, and I don't see it being desirable for the same reasons.

As an aside, analogous debate has emerged recently on English Language Learners regarding the grammar, which is almost exclusively used as the "default" tag for users who don't know any better, and for questions on whether some word, phrase, or sentence is grammatical. It's not really useful for categorisation, either. Except it's on over 4,000 tags, and removing it is as much of a problem as keeping it.

Let's get ahead of this here, and encourage useful tagging that actually benefits future users of the site.

Does anyone see any utility for these tags not addressed above? Alternately, does anyone wish to discuss anything proposed here?

  • 1
    I see no utility for that tag. Even if someone is asking if X is illegal or if Y is legal, my (potentially erroneous) understanding of the tagging system is to index topics so that they are searchable by other's with similar questions in the future. That tag will never help do that. If someone has a question about, say, is theft ever legal, the tags I would use would be criminal-law, theft, defenses, or exceptions. Not legal or illegal
    – gracey209
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


I can't see any possible reason why any question on this site needs a "legal" tag. The tag should be considered implied by the question being on Law.SE; it's like how Politics.SE doesn't have a "political" tag.

  • What do you think about [legality]? I suspect that the kinds of questions currently tagged [legal] will attract that tag instead.
    – jimsug
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 20:09
  • @cpast, then isn't the exact inverse true? That is, since this is a law/community/site, why would you ever need a tag "legal" at all? Aren't all questions relating to the law and if the question is, is such and such legal or illegal, the tag isn't going to help anyone find it, it's going to be the issue specific tags.
    – gracey209
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 3:40
  • @gracey That's the point. If the tag applies to everything, it doesn't belong on anything.
    – cpast
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 4:32
  • We ran into this on SQA. There was a [testing] tag... and a [qa] tag... It was the second question on meta to get rid of it... There's a deleted answer on that post that says "I don't like it, but I had to use it because there were no other good tags" - so if you find yourself saying "get rid of [legal]" then make sure you have adequate tags to support its removal.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 18:48

Legal and Lawful are different terms meaning different things.

A 'Legal' tag would pertain to the understanding, the exposition, the administration, the science and the practice of law. So, a 'Legal' tag is useless in the context of a discussion of law.

Regarding the tag 'Lawful', jurisdiction is relevant and what is lawful could be a subset of legal questions so that tag could be useful in the searching discussions of law.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .