Is it on-topic to ask if there is a jurisdiction which has (or has not) a law about [something specific]?

Example questions:

  • Is there a jurisdiction which makes no difference (in terms of penalty) between killing a human and any non-human being?

  • Is there a jurisdiction where murder is not an indictable offence?

  • Is there a constitution/law which provides a definition of "human" to explicitly state which living beings are meant?

I think such questions could be interesting for legislation (how other jurisdictions formulate a law which you might want to draft, too), for criminology (studying societies which have a rare or which don’t have a common law), for Internet businesses (which by default serve customers world-wide, but which might want to exclude a jurisdiction because it’s an exception that makes something typically legal illegal), and for citizens (to demand (dis)establishing laws, challenging presumptions), …

A good question should show previous research that makes clear that [something specific] does not appear to be common in (well known) jurisdictions.

A good answer should put a possible candidate in context (e.g., maybe a jurisdiction has no law about this specific thing, but it’s not needed because …), and in case it’s not in English, paraphrase/translate it or point to a translation.

  • Could you talk a bit more about how this is different from "Is X legal?" questions?
    – jimsug
    Jun 8, 2016 at 23:45
  • @jimsug: Are Is X legal? on- or off-topic? (It seems to me that the Meta discussion didn’t come to a conclusion.) -- Assuming that they are on-topic, the main difference would be that they are not limited to a jurisdiction (in fact, the OP should ideally point out that it’s illegal/legal in various, hopefully/probably most, jurisdictions).
    – unor
    Jun 9, 2016 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


The annoying character of IXL question is that they are just clueless LMGTFY questions where the asker hasn't a clue about how to find out the answer. An example of a somewhat reasonable "is there anywhere that" question would be "Is there anywhere that criticizing a public official is a crime" (although IMO adults should already know examples). The first two example questions are kind of in the realm "Seriously, dude?" though the third would be a great question in the realm of comparative law. The only thing is, answers will probably be correct only by accident in case the answer is "no", since it's unlikely that the survey will have covered Tanzania, Mongolia, North Korea, San Marino, Greenland, Mauritania...

  • +1 - NB: We do have a persistent "prove a negative problem" on Law. IXL questions are a large subset of "prove a negative" questions, but not the only ones. Sometimes when I'm feeling confident I just come right out and say (comment or answer), "The answer is no, but of course I can't prove a negative." If the question isn't closed it's always possible for someone to come along and present an answer that negates the negative.
    – feetwet Mod
    Jun 11, 2016 at 18:29
  • 1
    Note also: we have a comparative-law tag. These questions can be interesting. But they could also be degenerate for the reason alluded to in this answer: If nobody is aware of a common example, anyone who asserts a negative would be subject to the childish retort, "Oh really? You visited every jurisdiction in the world and reviewed not only all statutes but also all case law and customs?" And heaven forbid the question be scoped to allow historical examples!
    – feetwet Mod
    Jun 11, 2016 at 18:37

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