It appears there is some confusion over what constitutes law and what constitutes politics on this site. Or rather, that some people disagree on when a question which concerns political law should be applicable. For example, this question:


involves a politician being taken to court for violation of Danish law regarding hate speech, yet people are saying it's off-topic. If we are suggesting it to be so, are we able to agree on what it is specifically which makes it off-topic (or not off-topic) so we might apply this rule consistently?

To my mind any question concerning politicians would pretty much always be on topic here, and also questions involving immigration, hate speech, free speech etc are usually the kinds of things which would be of interest to people using a Politics.SE site.

I suppose one of the problems would be the definition of politics, which Wikipedia theorizes as being:

"Politics (from Greek: πολιτικός politikos, definition "of, for, or relating to citizens") is the process of making uniform decisions applying to all members of a group. It also involves the use of power by one person to affect the behavior of another person. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Furthermore, politics is the study or practice of the distribution of power and resources within a given community (a usually hierarchically organized population) as well as the interrelationship(s) between communities." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics; accessed 18/05/2016, 10:33 GMT

And seems to be basically in accordance with the Politics.SE tour on-topic guidelines as to what is on-topic:

  • Specific issues with governments, policies and political processes

And what constitutes off-topic:

  • Anything not directly related to governments, policies and political processes

I wonder, perhaps, what aspects of these definitions, if any, people can agree on and feel are appropriate for this site with regard to what is on-topic. Given this is quite a new site with a fairly low user-base compared to some of the other SE sites, I'm sure there will be some sort of flexibility as far as altering the pre-existing definitions if people can find legitimate problems with them.

One of the issues I can see is that "the process of making uniform decisions applying to all members of a group" and/or "[a]nything not directly related to governments, policies and political processes" would seem to apply to every legal ruling ever, and we probably need to have some sort of cut-off point, particularly as Law.SE already exists and has a fairly clearly defined purpose. Do people agree? Can we all come to a quorum on guidelines to consistently apply with regard to the law/politics overlap?

3 Answers 3


My personal opinion is that it is possible for a question to be on topic on multiple Stack Exchanges at the same time, so I disagree with the notion that "it's on topic at Law.SE" is a valid reason to close a question. However even though I'm a moderator, I don't control what other people's opinions are, and If 5 other people or an other moderator have closed a question, I'd need to have a pretty good reason in order to undermine that decision and reopen it.

That being said, the more a question seems to be asking for legal facts and rulings, and the less it's asking about political systems and governments, the more likely I am to migrate it to Law.SE. Even if the question just happens to be of political interest at the time, It can be migrated if it's focus is not on the politics.

And for the record, your question of Has this precedent ever been invoked, and what were the consequences of it being invoked seems way too broad. I would have closed that question as "too broad"

  • Ok, seems fair. I'll give it an edit tomorrow if that's ok. I have a role playing night to prepare for at the moment. Last minute invite, kinda :). May 18, 2016 at 15:25

The question title is "Have there been any new court cases invoking the Danish Penal Code § 266b precedent?"

  1. This cannot be easily answered by a politics expert (political scientist or policy wonk).

  2. OTOH, it can easily - or at least far easier - be answered by a legal expert, who knows which legal repositories of data to search and how for use of $266b.

As such, the question is off-topic here as per #1, and independently on-topic at Law.SE as per #2.

I agree that in a roundabout way, you can claim that it relates to politics in some way due to the semantics of that law, but that relationship seems to not - in any way I can see - help a politics expert to answer the question.

FYI: If you rephrase the question to center on impact of that law on politics (political speech, policies etc..) it would become ontopic, IMHO


involves a politician being taken to court for violation of Danish law regarding hate speech,

This may be obvious to people who already know about this incident, but it's not obvious that it's about a politician on reading the question. Perhaps its obvious to Danish readers that a "board member of The Danish People's Youth" is a politician. For most of those of us outside Denmark, that's not obvious at all.

From the question:

I am wondering what if this legal ruling has been invoked in any subsequent, politically relevant rulings, and if it has, what have been the particular precedents set, and any additional effects on interpretations regarding hate speech which have resulted from such rulings.

Asking about invocations in other cases and precedents set is the kind of thing that Law.SE can answer easily. The kind of questions that would be more on-topic here are if it has changed politician behavior or if politicians are looking to change the law. But you don't ask that. As stands, this question is asking about the law and its relationship to politics is quite tenuous.

Does it even matter that the law is being applied to a politician? Or could the incident have equally well been about an entertainer, a schoolteacher, or a business person?

This seems like exactly the kind of question that Law.SE was created to answer. But even if there weren't a Law.SE, its connection to politics seems extremely tenuous as written. You're not asking about its relation to policy or to the individual politician's career but about the impact on the legal system. It's a technical question and deserves a technical answer.

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