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

Each state in a federation such as Australia, Germany and the United States forms a separate jurisdiction. However, sometimes certain laws in a federal state are 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.

It is also possible for a jurisdiction to 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 where 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; it has three separate jurisdictions due to its three separate legal systems. China also has 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. Policy Press. 35 (1): 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.