A jurisdiction is an area with a set of laws under the control of a system of courts or government entity that is different that of from neighbouring areas.[1][2][3]

Each state in a federation such as Australia, Germany and the United States forms a separate jurisdiction. However, certain laws in a federal state are sometimes uniform across the constituent states and enforced by a set of federal courts; with a result that the federal state forms a single jurisdiction for that purpose.

A jurisdiction may also prosecute for crimes committed somewhere outside its jurisdiction once the perpetrator returns.[4] In some cases, a citizen of another jurisdiction outside its own can be extradited to a jurisdiction in which the crime is illegal even if it was not committed in that jurisdiction.[5][6]

Unitary states are usually single jurisdictions, but the United Kingdom is a notable exception since it has three separate jurisdictions because of its three separate legal systems. Also, China has the separate jurisdictions of Hong Kong and Macao.

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ Lehman, Jeffrey; Phelps, Shirelle (2005). West's Encyclopedia of American Law, Vol. 6 (2 ed.). Detroit: Thomson/Gale. p. 293. ISBN 9780787663742.
  2. ^ Declining jurisdiction in private international law : reports to the XIVth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Athens, August 1994. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1995. ISBN 019825959X.
  3. ^ Acheson, Nicholas V.; Williamson, Arthur P. (January 2007). "Civil society in multi-level public policy: the case of Ireland's two jurisdictions". Policy & Politics. 35 (1). Policy Press: 25. doi:10.1332/030557307779657711.
  4. ^ Surdin, Ashley (2009-09-01). "3 Americans Charged With Traveling to Cambodia for Sex With Children". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  5. ^ "Copyright Infringement: British Man Faces Extradition To U.S." Deadline. 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  6. ^ "New web law - Man extradited to foreign prison for web site content". www.dba-oracle.com. Retrieved 2018-03-11.