Jurisdiction is the power or authority for a court or other legal authority to administer justice whether in accordance with the matter before it or the location. Most countries have a Federal, State and Local jurisdiction which are divided into further jurisdictions such as international law, traffic law or family law.
On a national level, when the jurisdiction of state and federal overlap, their jurisdiction is a concurrent or shared jurisdiction. In concurrent jurisdiction, one government entity may have supreme power over the other entity if their laws conflict.
Jurisdiction is also used, especially in informal writing, to refer to a state/province or political subdivision generally, or to its government, rather than to its courts.
The substance of jurisdictions are usually created by the executive and legislature.
At a national level, The primary distinctions between areas of jurisdiction are codified. As a common law 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).
General jurisdiction is where subject matter is not limited in the court. Many courts have general jurisdiction and special or limited jurisdiction.
Courts can be further divided into appellate jurisdiction and original jurisdiction. A court of original jurisdiction has the power to hear cases as they are first commenced by a plaintiff, while a court of appellate jurisdiction may only hear an action after the court of original jurisdiction has heard the matter.
In Australia, jurisdiction exercised by Australian courts is either federal jurisdiction or state or territory jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction is the authority to exercise the judicial power of the Commonwealth. State or territory jurisdiction is the authority to exercise the judicial power of a State or Territory.
The different courts in Australia can be divided into: Local or Magistrate Courts, District Courts, Supreme Courts, Federal Court and the High Court. All of these courts have varied criminal jurisdictions.
The Federal Court’s jurisdiction is a court of record and a court of law and equity. The Court’s jurisdiction is broad, covering almost all civil matters arising under Australian federal law and some summary and indictable criminal matters.
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