For an article on the use of jurisdiction to mean a state or country, see Jurisdiction (area). Jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning “law” and dicere meaning “to speak”) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility. The term is also used to denote the geographical area or subject-matter to which such authority applies. Areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Jurisdiction draws its substance from public international law, conflict of laws, constitutional law and the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government to allocate resources to best serve the needs of its native society.
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