These rules are for the ##law channel on Freenode IRC. Violation of these rules may result in moderator intervention, including, without limitation, kicks, bans and quiets at their discretion.


These guiding principles assist moderators and community members in determining appropriate behaviour. They are not specific as the rules, but are equally important and may be enforced by moderators.

Principle 1: Freedom of speech is important, but hosts cannot be expected to tolerate abuse from their guests.

Principle 2: People are invited to participate in the community provided they show respect towards each other and the rules.

Principle 3: The purpose of the channel is discussion about law and legal principles. It is not intended to be a community of lawyers (though they are welcome) or to provide legal advice, even though some of its members may be lawyers, law students, or law graduates.

Principle 4: Individuals needing legal assistance should be directed towards appropriate referral services and Government-provided information.

Principle 5: The language of the channel is English, and discussions should use English unless another language is absolutely necessary.

Principle 6: Subject to the rules and principles, individuals worldwide should be made to feel welcome and the community should be open to people regardless of their background.

Principle 7: Illegal behaviour should be discouraged.


  1. Be polite and respectful towards others.
  2. When asking a question, state the jurisdiction as specifically as possible.
    • While many legal concepts are identical or similar across different jurisdictions, there can be significant variation.
    • Laws can vary significantly between subnational units and local government areas.
  3. Before asking a question in the channel, attempts to find an answer using a search engine should be made.
  4. Providing or advertising legal services is prohibited under all circumstances.
  5. Asking for or soliciting legal services is prohibited under all circumstances.
    • Persons who violate this rule should be directed to an appropriate referral service.
  6. Do not post links to or request material that is:
    • illegal or suspect;
    • discriminatory in nature; or
    • sexually explicit.
  7. Do not provoke or troll.
  8. Avoid discriminatory or derogatory remarks unless they are part of a relevant quote.
  9. Avoid unnecessary and offensive remarks.
  10. Use plain English as much as possible and:
    • avoid using excessive abbreviations or acronyms;
    • keep sentences as short, simple and direct as appropriate; and
    • use only one or two sentences per line.
  11. Subject to these rules, all topics related to law are welcome.
  12. Off-topic conversations are permitted but should give way to law-related topics where appropriate, and should be referred to a more appropriate channel if there is one.
  13. Avoid contentious economic, moral, political or social issues unless they can be clearly linked to a legal issue.
    • These issues will usually ask what the law ought to be, rather than what the law is.
    • There are more appropriate channels for these topics.
  14. Advocating or promoting organised pseudolegal commercial arguments identified in Meads v Meads [2012] ABQB 571 and related cases may result in warnings and lead to a ban.