It seems as if my question here got closed. I would like to have a discussion about what kinds of "legal" questions here are relevant to this site. I saw that there was a general question about traffic violations in various US States that was allowed. Obviously this isn't a law site, but I feel that my question was actually relevant to people with a general interest in travel or a particular interest in traveling in the USA by car.


2 Answers 2


I see legal questions that common citizens or residents of a country could answer as being on topic. For instance, any resident of Singapore knows that it's illegal to spit on public property or pick public flowers. While common sense might tell most people that spitting is gross no matter where you are, parents might want to be extra careful to tell their kids not to pick flowers.

A similar question might be something like "Is there an evening curfew in [place]", or "Is it legal to purchase and consume alcohol on a Friday in Iceland?"

Additionally, knowledge pertaining to customs and immigration might not be as common as knowledge about local laws and ordinances, but frequent international travelers might be able to answer based on experience or research.

The majority of legal related questions a traveler might ask can probably be answered here objectively, succinctly and factually by non-lawyers. That's not the case on sites like Stack Overflow, software licenses, patents and intellectual property can be quite a legal maze that requires expert legal analysis.

I think the guide line would be - if you would consider paying an attorney for advice on the matter, it's probably not a good fit for a Q&A web site, but that goes for almost any topic. I'm not going to ask an attorney if it's illegal to smoke in public in Saigon any more than I'm going to ask The Internet what to do if my visa is revoked.


I think law questions that relate specifically to travel or which will have different consequences for travelers in a place compared to people who live there are on-topic.

So asking what happens when somebody get a speeding ticket in Zimbabwe is off topic but asking what happens when a tourist gets a speeding ticket in Zimbabwe is on topic.

Customs and immigration laws that deal with travelers rather than immigrants would also be on topic.

Of course if there is a law SE site for the country involved then it might well be more on topic for that SE. There does seem to be a law SE proposal that would cover all countries so if that ever goes live it would be fair to move such questions there: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/24586/laws-legal-questions

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    Hmm it would be constructive to know on which particular points the anonymous downvoters disagree. Commented Jul 16, 2011 at 8:55

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