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This is peripherally related to What about 'localized' questions?, but I have a feeling that the answer will be somewhat different so am asking it as a separate question.

There has been a fair number of questions which ask about the legality of certain things. In general, the questions I've seen have been fairly well done, except for one major detail, namely the relevant locale which has been missing in some. Two examples might be Does mixed-mode operation qualify as a QSO? and When may a ham operate beyond the privileges of their licence class?.

Questions about legality are inherently both time- and locale-dependent; laws change, and they differ between locales.

Assuming we want those questions (the fact that there are 13 questions tagged currently, none of which are closed, seems to indicate we at least do not discourage such questions), how do we encourage people asking such questions to specify the relevant locale up front so that answers can both be reasonably scoped as well as actually answer the OP's question?

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There are a few things that can be done here:

  • Add comments to questions that don't specify the location/scope of the question, asking for clarification of such.
  • Add a note to the tag wiki for the tag, stating that questions using it should specify their scope.
  • Be clear about the scope of answers you provide to such questions - that way, even if the scope isn't originally specified, those reading the answer won't be misled as to whether it applies in their own locale or not.
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    $\begingroup$ Feel to be a little firm when commenting on questions that do not provide all of the information needed for an answer (just like you would any other question). Let the user know that their question might be placed on hold if location specific information isn't provided (and, ideally, indicate why this is needed in the context of the question for best results) $\endgroup$ – Tim Post Oct 27 '13 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @TimPost I added a CW answer about a possible specific close reason for this. While it's currently only at +1/-0 vs this answer's +5/-0, any chance we could have a comment on the feasibility of something like that? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 31 '13 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ I'm really not keen on arbitrarily picking a locale, then answering about that one. I think that's a really poor fit for the SE format: there's no basis on which a question can be "good" or "useful" or "correct" or "accepted", since the entire relevance of the answer hinges on whether it (by chance) hits the right locale. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Dec 3 '13 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @PhilFrost I don't like "arbitrarily" picking a locale either - but I think there's room for educated guesses and/or answers for the most common "gotchas". $\endgroup$ – Amber Dec 4 '13 at 4:59
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Maybe what we need is a specific close reason along the lines of

This question asks about specific regulations, but fails to specify the relevant locale. In order for this question to be answerable, you need to specify the geographic or political area to which the answers should apply.

This answer is Community Wiki, so by all means feel free to improve the suggested wording.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think that would be a good reason to have. $\endgroup$ – Seth Nov 6 '13 at 22:16

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