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A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority. The body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law. The condition of social order and justice created by adherence to such a system: a breakdown of law and civilized behavior. A set of rules or principles dealing with a specific area of a legal system: tax law; criminal law. A piece of enacted legislation. What is Law?


Jurisdiction is the power of a court to hear and decide a case before it.

In most common law systems, jurisdiction is conceptually divided between
jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case and jurisdiction over the
person of the litigants. (See personal jurisdiction.) Sometimes a court may
exercise jurisdiction over property located within the perimeter of its
powers without regard to personal jurisdiction over the litigants; this is
called jurisdiction in rem.

A court whose subject-matter jurisdiction is limited to certain types of
controversies (for example, suits in admiralty 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.

A court whose subject-matter is not limited to certain types of controversy
is referred to as a court of general jurisdiction. In the United States,
each state has courts of general jurisdiction; most states also have some
courts of limited jurisdiction. The United States federal courts are courts
of limited jurisdiction: they may only hear 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.

Jurisdiction also means the area to which the executive or legislative
powers or laws of a government extend. For example, in private international
law jurisdiction may refer to a nation-state or to a province or state in a
federation such as the United States or Canada.

Sometimes when the areas of separate governmental entitities overlap one
another--for example, between a state and the federation to which it
belongs-- their jurisdiction is shared or concurrent. Otherwise one
governmental entity will have exclusive jurisdiction over the shared area.
When jurisdiction is concurrent, one governmental 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
restricted only by a number of limited restrictions, these government
branches have plenary power such as the police power. Otherwise an enabling
act grants only limited or enumerated powers.
Labor unions use the term jurisdiction to refer to their claims to represent
workers who perform a certain type of work and the right of their members to
perform such work, e.g., the work of unloading containerized cargo at United
States ports, which both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and
the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have claimed rightfully should be
assigned to workers they represent. A jurisdictional strike is a concerted
refusal to work undertaken by a union to assert its members right to such
job assignments and to protest the assignment of disputed work to members of
another union or to unorganized workers. Jurisdictional strikes occur most
frequently in the United States in the construction industry.

Unions also use jurisdiction to refer to the geographical boundaries of
their operations, as in those cases in which a national or international
union allocates the right to represent workers among different local unions
based on the place of those workers' employment, either along geographical
lines or by adopting the boundaries between political jurisdictions.
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