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Jurisdiction (from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
''
juris The Juris were a tribe of South American Indigenous people, formerly occupying the country between the rivers Içá (lower Putumayo River, Putumayo) and Yapura River, Yapura, north-western Brazil. In ancient days they were the most powerful tribe of ...

juris
'' 'law' + '' dictio'' 'declaration') is the legal term for the
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
granted to a legal entity to enact
justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, ...

justice
.
Colloquially Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual (informal) communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in conversation and other informal conte ...
it is used to refer to the geographical area (: location of the issue. In
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...

federation
s like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local,
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, and federal levels. Jurisdiction draws its substance from
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
,
conflict of laws Conflict may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Conflict (1936 film), ''Conflict'' (1936 film), an American boxing film starring John Wayne * Conflict (1938 film), ''Conflict'' (1938 film), a French drama film directed by L ...
,
constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. ...
, and the powers of the
executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief exec ...
and legislative branches of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
to allocate resources to best serve the needs of
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
.


International dimension

Generally, international laws and treaties provide agreements which
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
s agree to be bound to. Such agreements are not always established or maintained. The exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction by three principles outlined in the
UN charter The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization. It establishes the purposes, governing structure, and overall framework of the United Nations S ...
. These are equality of states, territorial sovereignty and non-intervention. This raises the question of when can many states prescribe or enforce jurisdiction. The
Lotus case #REDIRECT Lotus case#REDIRECT Lotus case The ''Lotus'' case concerns a criminal trial Criminal procedure is the adjudication process of the criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perce ...
establishes two key rules to the prescription and enforcement of jurisdiction. The case outlines that jurisdiction is territorial and that a state may not exercise its jurisdiction in the territory of another state unless there is a rule that permits this.SS Lotus (France v Turkey), 1927 PCIJ series A No.10, para 19 On that same note, states enjoy a wide measure of discretion to prescribe jurisdiction over persons, property and acts within their own territory unless there was a rule that prohibits this.


Political issue

Supranational organizations provide mechanisms whereby disputes between nations may be resolved through
arbitration upright=1.5, The London Court of International Arbitration Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or external dispute resolution (EDR), typically denotes a wide range of dispute resolu ...
or
mediation Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged ...

mediation
. When a
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
is recognized as , it is an acknowledgment by the other ' nations that the country has
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
and the right to exist. However, it is often at the discretion of each nation whether to co-operate or participate. If a nation does agree to participate in activities of the supranational bodies and accept decisions, the nation is giving up its sovereign authority and thereby allocating power to these bodies.. Insofar as these bodies or nominated individuals may resolve disputes through judicial or quasi-judicial means, or promote
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
obligations in the nature of laws, the power ceded to these bodies cumulatively represents its own jurisdiction. But no matter how powerful each body may appear to be, the extent to which any of their
judgments Judgement (or US spelling judgment) is also known as ''adjudication Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbitration, arbiter or judge reviews evidence (law), evidence and argumentation, including legal reasoning set forth by opposing ...
may be enforced, or proposed treaties and conventions may become, or remain, effective within the territorial boundaries of each nation is a political matter under the sovereign control each nation.


International and municipal

The fact that international organizations, courts and tribunals have been created raises the difficult question of how to co-ordinate their activities with those of national courts. If the two sets of bodies do not have ''concurrent'' jurisdiction but, as in the case of the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
(ICC), the relationship is expressly based on the principle of ''complementarity'', i.e., the international court is subsidiary or complementary to national courts, the difficulty is avoided. But if the jurisdiction claimed is concurrent or, as in the case of
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, secu ...
(ICTY), the international tribunal is to prevail over national courts, the problems are more difficult to resolve politically. The idea of
universal jurisdiction Universal jurisdiction allows Sovereign state, states or international organizations to claim criminal jurisdiction over an accused person regardless of where the alleged crime was committed, and regardless of the accused's nationality, country of ...
is fundamental to the operation of global organizations such as the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
and the
International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ; french: Cour internationale de justice, links=no; ), sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmenta ...

International Court of Justice
(ICJ), which jointly assert the benefit of maintaining legal entities with jurisdiction over a wide range of matters of significance to nations (the ICJ should not be confused with the ICC and this version of "universal jurisdiction" is not the same as that enacted in the War Crimes Law (Belgium), which is an assertion of extraterritorial jurisdiction that will fail to gain implementation in any other state under the standard provisions of
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
). Under Article 34 Statute of the ICJ only nations may be parties in cases before the Court and, under Article 36, the jurisdiction comprises all cases which the parties refer to it and all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or in treaties and conventions in force. But, to invoke the jurisdiction in any given case, all the parties have to accept the prospective judgment as binding. This reduces the risk of wasting the Court's time. Despite the safeguards built into the constitutions of most of these organizations, courts and tribunals, the concept of universal jurisdiction is controversial among those nations which prefer unilateral to multilateral solutions through the use of executive or military authority, sometimes described as
realpolitik ''Realpolitik'' (; ) is politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical app ...
-based diplomacy. Within other international contexts, there are
intergovernmental organizations An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other intergovernmental organizations. IGOs are established by a treaty that ...
such as the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through ...
(WTO) that have socially and economically significant dispute resolution functions but, again, even though their jurisdiction may be invoked to hear the cases, the power to enforce their decisions is at the will of the nations affected, save that the WTO is permitted to allow retaliatory action by successful nations against those nations found to be in breach of
international trade law International trade law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors. This branch of law is now an independent field of study as mos ...
. At a regional level, groups of nations can create political and legal bodies with sometimes complicated patchworks of overlapping provisions detailing the jurisdictional relationships between the member states and providing for some degree of
harmonization In music, harmonization is the chordal accompaniment to a line or melody A melody (from Greek language, Greek μελῳδία, ''melōidía'', "singing, chanting"), also tune, voice or line, is a Linearity#Music, linear succession of mus ...
between their national legislative and judicial functions, for example, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
and
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
both have the potential to become federated nations although the political barriers to such unification in the face of entrenched
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
will be very difficult to overcome. Each such group may form transnational institutions with declared legislative or judicial powers. For example, in Europe, the
European Court of Justice European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Justice
has been given jurisdiction as the ultimate appellate court to the member states on issues of European law. This jurisdiction is entrenched and its authority could only be denied by a member nation if that member nation asserts its sovereignty and withdraws from the union.


Law

The standard treaties and conventions leave the issue of implementation to each nation, i.e. there is no general rule in international law that treaties have
direct effect In European Union law European Union law is a system of rules operating within the member states of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states th ...
in
municipal law Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded an ...
, but some nations, by virtue of their membership of supranational bodies, allow the direct incorporation of rights or enact
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legislature, parliament, or analogous Government, governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law ...
to honor their international commitments. Hence,
citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizen
s in those nations can invoke the jurisdiction of local courts to enforce rights granted under international law wherever there is incorporation. If there is no direct effect or legislation, there are two theories to justify the courts incorporating international into municipal law: * Monism :This theory characterizes international and municipal law as a single legal system with municipal law subordinate to international law. Hence, in the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, all treaties and the orders of international organizations are effective without any action being required to convert international into municipal law. This has an interesting consequence because treaties that limit or extend the powers of the Dutch government are automatically considered a part of their constitutional law, for example, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international ...
. In nations adopting this theory, the local courts automatically accept jurisdiction to adjudicate on
lawsuit A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil ...
s relying on international law principles. * Dualism :This theory regards international and municipal law as separate systems so that the municipal courts can only apply international law either when it has been incorporated into municipal law or when the courts incorporate international law on their own motion. In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, for example, a treaty is not effective until it has been incorporated at which time it becomes enforceable in the courts by any private citizen, where appropriate, even against the UK Government. Otherwise the courts have a discretion to apply international law where it does not conflict with
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...

statute
or the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
. The constitutional principle of
parliamentary supremacy Parliamentary sovereignty (also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy) is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty Sovereignty is th ...
permits the legislature to enact any law inconsistent with any international treaty obligations even though the government is a signatory to those treaties. In the United States, the
Supremacy Clause The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution of the United States The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the lega ...
of the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
makes all treaties that have been ratified under the authority of the United States and customary international law a part of the "Supreme Law of the Land" (along with the Constitution itself and acts of Congress passed pursuant to it) (U.S. Const.art. VI Cl. 2) and, as such, the law of the land is binding on the federal government as well as on state and local governments. According to the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

Supreme Court of the United States
, the treaty power authorizes
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
to legislate under the
Necessary and Proper Clause The Necessary and Proper Clause, also known as the Elastic Clause, is a clause in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. This foun ...
in areas beyond those specifically conferred on Congress ('' Missouri v. Holland'', 252 U.S. 416 (1920)).


International

This concerns the relationships both between courts in different
jurisdictions Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the legal term for the authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. Colloquially it is used to refer to the geographical area (: locati ...
, and between courts within the same jurisdiction. The usual legal doctrine under which questions of jurisdiction are decided is termed . To deal with the issue of
forum shopping Forum shopping is a colloquial Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual (informal) communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in conv ...
, nations are urged to adopt more positive rules on conflict of laws. The
Hague Conference The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) is an Intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation in the area of private international law (also known as ''conflict of laws''), that administers several international c ...
and other international bodies have made recommendations on jurisdictional matters, but
litigant A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil ...
s with the encouragement of
lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English ...

lawyer
s on a
contingent fee A contingent fee (also known as a contingency fee in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in N ...
continue to shop for forums.


Jurisdiction Principles

Under international law there are different principles that are recognized to establish a State's ability to exercise criminal jurisdiction when it comes to a person. There is no hierarchy when it comes to any of the principles. States must therefore work together to solve issues of who may exercise their jurisdiction when it comes to issues of multiple principles being allowed. The principles are Territorial Principle, Nationality Principle, Passive Personality Principle, Protective Principle, Universality Principle
Territorial Principle The territorial principle (also territoriality principle) is a principle of public international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in rela ...
: This principle states that the State where the crime has been committed may exercise jurisdiction. This is one of the most straightforward and least controversial of the principles. This is also the only principle that is territorial in nature; all other forms are extraterritorial. Nationality Principle (also known as the Active Personality Principle): This principle is based around a person's nationality and allows States to exercise jurisdiction when it comes to their nationality, both within and outside the State's territory. Seeing as the territoriality principle already gives the State the right to exercise jurisdiction, this principle is primarily used as a justification for prosecuting crimes committed abroad by a States nationals. There is a growing trend to allow States to also apply this principle to permanent residents abroad as well (for example: Denmark Criminal Code (2005), sec 7; Finland Criminal Code (2015), sec 6; Iceland Criminal Code (2014), art 5; Latvia Criminal Code (2013), sec 4; Netherlands Criminal Code (2019), art 7; Norway Criminal Code (2005), sec 12; Swedish Criminal Code (1999), sec 2; Lithuania Criminal Code (2015), art 5). Passive Personality Principle: This principle is similar to the Nationality Principle, except you are exercising jurisdiction against a foreign nationals that has committed a criminal act against its own national. The idea is that a State has a duty to protect its nationals and therefore if someone harms their nationals that State has the right to prosecute the accused. Protective Principle: This principle allows States to exercise jurisdiction when it comes to foreign nationals for acts committed outside their territory that have or are intended to have a prejudicial impact upon the State. It is especially used when it comes to matters of national security. Universality Principle: This is the broadest of all the principles. The basis is that a State has the right, sometimes even the obligation, to exercise jurisdiction when it comes to the most serious violations of international criminal law; for example
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
,
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
, extrajudicial executions,
war crimes A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
,
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
and
forced disappearances A forced disappearance (or enforced disappearance) occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S ...
. This principle also goes further then the other principles as there is attached to it the obligation to either prosecute the accused or extradite them to a State that will, known as .


Supranational

At a supranational level, countries have adopted a range of treaty and convention obligations to relate the right of individual litigants to invoke the jurisdiction of national courts and to enforce the judgments obtained. For example, the member nations of the
EEC The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece ...

EEC
signed the
Brussels Convention Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brussel ...

Brussels Convention
in 1968 and, subject to amendments as new nations joined, it represents the default law for all twenty-seven Member States of what is now termed the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
on the relationships between the courts in the different countries. In addition, the
Lugano Convention The Brussels Regime is a set of rules regulating which courts have jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ...

Lugano Convention
(1988) binds the European Union and the
European Free Trade Association The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by bus ...
. In effect from 1 March 2002, all the member states of the except
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
accepted , which makes major changes to the Brussels Convention and is directly effective in the member nations. Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 now also applies as between the rest of the EU Member States and Denmark due to an agreement reached between the European Community and Denmark. In some legal areas, at least, the reciprocal
enforcement of foreign judgments In law, the enforcement of foreign judgments is the recognition and enforcement in one jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European lan ...
is now more straightforward. At a national level, the traditional rules still determine jurisdiction over persons who are not domiciled or habitually resident in the European Union or the Lugano area.


National

Many nations are subdivided into states or
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

province
s (i.e. a subnational "state"). In a
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...

federation
—as can be found in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
,
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
—such subunits will exercise ''jurisdiction'' through the court systems as defined by the executives and legislatures. When the jurisdictions of government entities overlap one another—for example between a state and the federation to which it belongs—their jurisdiction is a ''shared'' or ''concurrent'' jurisdiction. Otherwise, one government entity will have exclusive jurisdiction over the shared area. When jurisdiction is concurrent, one government entity may have supreme jurisdiction over the other entity if their laws conflict. If the executive or legislative powers within the jurisdiction are not restricted, or have only limited restrictions, these government branches have plenary power such as a national policing power. Otherwise, an
enabling act An enabling act is a piece of legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statute, statutory or administrative law is enacte ...
grants only limited or enumerated powers. Child custody cases in the U.S. are a prime example of jurisdictional dilemmas caused by different states under a federal alignment. When parents and children are in different states, there is the possibility of different state court orders over-ruling each other. The U.S. solved this problem by adopting the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The act established criteria for determining which state has primary jurisdiction, which allows courts to defer the hearing of a case if an appropriate administrative agency determines so.


United States

The primary distinctions between areas of jurisdiction are codified at a national level. As a
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
system, jurisdiction is conceptually divided between jurisdiction over the '' subject matter'' of a case (called ''in rem)'' and jurisdiction over the person (called ''in personam''). A court may use jurisdiction over property located within the perimeter of its powers without regard to personal jurisdiction over the litigants; this is an example of ''
in rem ''In rem'' jurisdiction ("power about or against 'the thing) is a legal term describing the power a court may exercise over property (either real Real may refer to: * Reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent with ...
jurisdiction''. A court whose subject matter jurisdiction is limited to certain types of controversies (for example, suits in
admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
or suits where the monetary amount sought is less than a specified sum) is sometimes referred to as a ''court of special jurisdiction'' or ''court of limited jurisdiction''.


General and limited jurisdiction

A court whose subject matter is not limited to certain types of controversy is referred to as a ''court of general jurisdiction''. In the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
s, each state has courts of general jurisdiction; most states also have some courts of limited jurisdiction. Federal courts (those operated by the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
) are courts of limited jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction is divided into
federal question jurisdiction In United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washingt ...
and
diversity jurisdiction In the law of the United States, diversity jurisdiction is a form of subject-matter jurisdiction in civil procedure in which a United States district court in the United States federal courts, federal judiciary has the power to hear a Civil law ( ...
. The
United States district court#REDIRECT United States district court The United States district courts are the general trial court A trial court or court of first instance is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the aut ...
s may hear only cases arising under federal law and treaties, cases involving ambassadors, admiralty cases, controversies between states or between a state and citizens of another state, lawsuits involving citizens of different states, and against foreign states and citizens. Certain courts, particularly the
United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the Federal judiciary of the United States, federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate and largely Procedures of the Supreme Court of the United ...

United States Supreme Court
and most
state supreme court In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Was ...
s, have
discretionary jurisdiction Discretionary jurisdiction is a circumstance where a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the adm ...
, meaning that they can choose which cases to hear from among all the cases presented on appeal. Such courts generally only choose to hear cases that would settle important and controversial points of law. Though these courts have discretion to deny cases they otherwise could adjudicate, no court has the discretion to hear a case that falls outside of its subject matter jurisdiction.


Original and appellate jurisdiction

It is also necessary to distinguish between
original jurisdiction In common law legal systems original jurisdiction of a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state Sta ...
and
appellate jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction is the power of an appellate court An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United State ...
. A court of original jurisdiction has the power to hear cases as they are first initiated by a
plaintiff A plaintiff ( Π in legal shorthand) is the party who initiates a lawsuit A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil aff ...
, while a court of appellate jurisdiction may only hear an action after the court of original jurisdiction (or a lower appellate court) has heard the matter. For example, in
United States federal courts The federal judiciary of the United States is one of the three branches of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government ...
, the United States district courts have original jurisdiction over a number of different matters (as mentioned above), and the
United States court of appeals The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal judiciary. The courts are divided into 13 circuits, and each hears appeals from the district courts within its borders, ...
have appellate jurisdiction over matters appealed from the district courts. The U.S. Supreme Court, in turn, has appellate jurisdiction (of a discretionary nature) over the Courts of Appeals, as well as the state supreme courts, by means of
writ of certiorari In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by ...
. However, in a special class of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has the power to exercise original jurisdiction. Under , the Supreme court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over controversies between two or more states, and original (but non-exclusive) jurisdiction over cases involving officials of foreign states, controversies between the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
and a state, actions by a state against the citizens of another state or foreign country.


Example of jurisdiction

As a practical example of court jurisdiction, as of 2013
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
has five types of courts, each for different legal matters and different physical territories. One-hundred-and-eight judges oversee Justice Courts, which handle traffic and parking citations,
misdemeanor A misdemeanor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States ...
crimes, and most
small claims Small-claims courts have limited jurisdiction to hear civil Civil may refer to: *Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit *Civil affairs *Civil and political rights *Civil disobedience *Civil engineering *Civil (journalism), a platfo ...
cases. Seventy-one judges preside over District Courts, which deal with civil cases exceeding small claims limits,
probate Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy Intest ...
law,
felony A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness Seriousness (noun; adjective: ''serious'') is an attitude of gravitas, gravity, :wikt:solemnity, solemnity, persistence, and :wikt:earnest, earnestness toward something considered t ...
criminal cases,
divorce Divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) is the optional process of terminating a marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people calle ...

divorce
and child custody cases, some small claims, and appeals from Justice Courts. Twenty-eight judges handle Juvenile Court, which oversees most people under 18 years old who are accused of a crime, as well as cases of alleged child abuse or neglect; serious crimes committed by 16 or 17 year old persons may be referred to the District Courts. Seven judges in the Appeals Court hear most criminal appeals from District Courts, all appeals from juvenile court and all domestic/divorce cases from District Court, as well as some cases transferred to them by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court seats five judges who hear appeals on first-degree felonies (the most serious) including capital crimes, as well as all civil cases from District Court (excepting divorce/domestic cases). The Supreme Court also oversees cases involving interpretation of the state Constitution, election matters, judicial conduct, and alleged misconduct by lawyers. This example shows how matters arising in the same physical territory might be seen in different courts. A minor traffic infraction originating in
Orem, Utah Orem is a city in Utah County, Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguo ...
is handled by the Orem Justice Court. However, a second-degree felony arrest and a first-degree felony arrest in Orem would be under the jurisdiction of the District Court in
Provo, Utah Provo ( ) is the List of cities and towns in Utah, fourth-largest city in Utah, United States. It is south of Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. Provo is the largest city and county seat of Utah County, Utah, Utah County and is home to Brig ...

Provo, Utah
. If both the minor traffic offense and the felony arrests resulted in guilty verdicts, the traffic conviction could be appealed to the District Court in Provo, while the second-degree felony appeal would be heard by the Appeals Court in Salt Lake City and the first-degree felony appeal would be heard by the Supreme Court. Similarly for civil matters, a small claims case arising in Orem would probably be heard in the Orem Justice Court, while a divorce filed by an Orem resident would be heard by the District Court in Provo. The above examples apply only to cases of Utah state law; any case under Federal jurisdiction would be handled by a different court system. All Federal cases arising in Utah are under the jurisdiction of the
United States District Court for the District of Utah The United States District Court for the District of Utah (in case citations, D. Utah) is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States ...
, headquartered in
Salt Lake City, Utah Salt Lake City (often shortened to Salt Lake and abbreviated as SLC) is the Capital (political), capital and List of cities and towns in Utah, most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah, as well as the county seat, seat of Salt Lake County, U ...

Salt Lake City, Utah
, and would be heard in one of three Federal courthouses.


Colloquially

The word "jurisdiction" is also used, especially in informal writing, to refer to a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
or political subdivision generally, or to its government, rather than to its legal authority. ''See also, e.g.''
"Metro's $11 Billion To-Do List,"
in ''The
Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most-widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area, and has a large nat ...
'': "Local jurisdictions are also facing shortfalls, and much will depend on the economy and political decisions at the local, state and federal levels"
"Teacher pension pinch,"
in ''The
Baltimore Sun ''The Baltimore Sun'' is the largest general-circulation daily newspaper based in Maryland and provides coverage of local and regional news, events, issues, people, and industries. Founded in 1837, it is currently owned by Tribune Publishing. Hi ...
'': "Large, affluent jurisdictions have scores of high-salaried teachers with correspondingly higher pension costs."


Franchise jurisdiction

In the history of English common law, a jurisdiction could be held as a form of property (or more precisely an
incorporeal hereditamentIn common law, a hereditament (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...
) called a
franchise Franchise may refer to: Business and law * Franchising, a business method that involves licensing of trademarks and methods of doing business to franchisees * Franchise, a privilege to operate a type of business such as a cable television pro ...
. Traditional franchise jurisdictions of various powers were held by , ,
guilds A guild is an association of s and s who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as organizations of tradesmen, belonging to: a , a , a , and/or a . They sometimes depended on grants ...
, early
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
, the
Welsh Marches The Welsh Marches ( cy, Y Mers) is an imprecisely defined area along the Wales-England border, border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods. The English term Welsh Mar ...
, and counties palatine. Types of franchise courts included courts baron, courts leet, merchant courts, and the stannary courts that dealt with disputes involving the tin miners of
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a historic county and ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial counties, are ar ...

Cornwall
. The original
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or ...

royal charter
s of the
American colonies#REDIRECT American colonies
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from ambiguous term {{R unprintworthy ...
included broad grants of franchise jurisdiction along with other governmental powers to
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...

corporation
s or individuals, as did the charters for many other colonial companies such as the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
and
British South Africa Company The British South Africa Company (BSAC or BSACo) was charteredChartered may refer to: * Charter, a legal document conferring rights or privileges ** University charter ** Chartered company * Chartered (professional), a professional credential * ...
. Analogous jurisdiction existed in medieval times on the European Continent. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, franchise jurisdictions were largely eliminated. Several formerly important franchise courts were not officially abolished until Courts Act of 1971.


See also

* Guantánamo Bay Naval Base * Immunity from prosecution (international law) * Labor unions in the United States – a different use of the word jurisdiction * Law enforcement agency – a different use of the word jurisdiction * Lawsuits against God * Private jurisdiction * ''Rasul v. Bush'' * State immunity * Universal jurisdiction


References


External links


Cornell.edu

Supreme Court Decision
on the Guantánamo Bay jurisdiction
Jurisdiction As Property
– franchise jurisdiction {{Authority control Jurisdiction, International law Conflict of lawsA