There are two opposed answers to the question on localization of questions and answers. If we allow answers for any jurisdiction to a question, there might be tons of answers to each question -- and each of them valid!

How do we proceed if we allow such general jurisdiction questions?

Europe alone has over 30 countries, United States has 50 states and then there's the rest of the world. The laws across Europe will most likely be very similar or even identical and the same could be said for the United States, but there will be differences.

If a question does not specify a jurisdiction and it gets an answer on how it's done in Texas, Portugal, France and South Africa, what answer should the asker accept? Normally on StackExchange, answers are sorted by voting to make an order from "best answer" to "worst answer", but how should voting work with answers that are all correct but apply in different locales?

Should we vote based on how big the jurisdiction is (a US answer should get more upvotes than a Portugal answer) or perhaps based on how developed the answer is (a detailed and sourced answer for Portugal should get more upvotes than a one-liner for the US)?

Or is this enough of a problem that each question must make clear the wanted jurisdiction?

2 Answers 2


The asker should accept whichever one they find most useful. I'm leery of saying they should accept based on some particular rule; if it turned out there was one jurisdiction they were really most interested in, and they accept an answer covering that, it's fine (they should have said where they were most interested in, but if they didn't it's not the end of the world).

For voting, I don't think it should matter how big the jurisdiction is. More developed answers are better than less developed ones, and if I don't want to give a vote to all the answers on a question I'll generally lean towards the more developed one. I'd also lean towards broader answers over narrower.


I don't think we should mandate a question to relate to a specific jurisdiction. While the details of law indeed differs, many legal concepts can be broadly described (e.g. what is "negligence").

In terms of voting, the more developed answer should be up-voted. Even if the question specifically asked for laws in country A, an answer pointing out the unusual practice in B versus A can be interesting. Votes are meant to measure the quality of an answer. A "one-liner for the US" is hardly more helpful than "a detailed and sourced answer for Portugal".

The OP should accept the one that he thinks is most useful, all factors considered, as always.

  • 2
    OTOH, I suppose if a question does specify a jurisdiction, we are going to vote down answers on other jurisdictions? Or not? What if a question is edited to include jurisdiction, when the asker is dissatisfied at getting answers that don't meet their needs? Or are we going to ask them to ask a new question with a jurisdiction?
    – jimsug
    May 28, 2015 at 13:15
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    The risk of general answers is that they are really not general answers but answers about (typically) US law and would be alien to (say) French, German or Saudi law. Mar 22, 2017 at 8:38

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