practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with legal matters

Jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning "oath" 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.

Quotes edit

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904) edit

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 137-139.
  • God forbid that Judges upon their oath should make resolutions to enlarge jurisdiction.
  • I agree we ought not to incroach or inlarge our jurisdiction; by so doing we usurp both on the right of the Queen and the people.
    • Holt, C.J., Ashby v. White (1703), Lord Raym. 938.
  • The rule for jurisdiction is, that nothing shall be intended to be out of the jurisdiction of the superior Court, but that which specially appears to be so; and on the contrary, nothing shall be intended to be within the jurisdiction of an inferior Court but that which is so expressly alleged.
    • Per Cur., Peacock v. Bell and Kendall (1667), 1 Saund. 74 a.»
  • The Court ought never to come to the conclusion that two cases in the same Court, or in Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction, are in conflict, unless it is obliged to. I agree that if two cases are in conflict the Court must say with which of them it agrees.
  • Although our powers are great, they are not unlimited—they are bounded by some lines of demarcation.
    • Abbott, C.J., The King v. Justices of Devon (1819), 1 Chit. Rep. 37.
  • The Court is not hungry after jurisdiction.
    • Sir W. Scott, "The Two Friends" (1799), 1 C. Rob. Ad. Rep. 280.
  • It is part of my duty to expound the jurisdiction of the Court. It is no part of my duty to expand it.
    • Kekeunch, J., In re Montagu (1897), L. R. 1 C. D. [1897], p. 693.
  • A total want of jurisdiction cannot be cured by the assent of the parties.
    • Patteson, J., Jones v. Owen (1848), 5 D. & L. 674.
  • If the Court does not possess an inherent jurisdiction over the subjectmatter, it is not possible that the consent of an individual could confer any such jurisdiction.
    • Dr. Lushington, "The Golubchick" (1840), 1 Wm. Rob. Ad. Rep. 147.
  • Consent does not give jurisdiction.
    • Wilde, B., Reg. v. Thompson (1861), 9 Cox, C. C. 85; 9 W. R. 208.
  • I am extremely unwilling that we should take upon ourselves to exercise a jurisdiction which the law does not vest in us.
    • Abbott, C.J., Rex v. Middleton (1819), 1 Chit. Rep. 656.
  • We ought not to overstep our jurisdiction because we think it might be advantageous so to do.
    • Rigby, L.J., In re Watkins (1896), L. R. 2 C. D. [1896], p. 339.
  • In case of private jurisdictions, the Court has inclined not to intermeddle.
  • If it be a matter within our jurisdiction, we are bound by our oaths to judge of it.
    • Holt, C.J., Ashby v. White (1703), 2 Raym. Rep. 956.
  • The title or description of a Court does not often point out the extent of its jurisdiction.
    • Lawrence, J., Lothian v. Henderson (1803), 3 Bos. and Pull. 525.
  • Those who act under a jurisdiction given by Act of Parliament, must shew their jurisdiction.
    • Probyn, J., Rex v. Inhabitants of Stepney (1735), Burrow (Settlement Cases), 25.
  • It is of little importance how the jurisdiction originated, if it be found to exist.—Turner, L.J., Boyse v. Rossborough (1854), 23 L. J. Rep. Part 5 (N. S.) Ch. 535. 18- I shall not be afraid to exercise a jurisdiction I find established, and shall adhere to precedents.
    • Lord Hardwicke, L.C., Earl of Chesterfield v. Janssen (1750), 2 Ves. Sen. 158.
  • The rule is this: that wherever there is a decision of a Court of concurrent jurisdiction, the other Courts will adopt that as the basis of their decision, provided it can be appealed from. If it cannot be appealed from, then they will exercise their own judgment.
  • A Court of law is well justified, according to the comity of our Courts, in overruling the decision of another Court of co-ordinate jurisdiction.
    • Brett, M.R., Palmer v. Johnson (1884), L. R. 13 Q. B. D. 355.

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