JURISDIC'TION, n. [L. jurisdictio; jus, juris, law, and dictio, from dico, to pronounce.]1. The legal power of authority of doing justice in cases of complaint; the power of executing the laws and distributing justice. Thus we speak of certain suits or actions, or the cognizance of certain crimes being within the jurisdiction of a court, that is, within the limits of their authority or commission. Inferior courts have jurisdiction of debt and trespass, or of smaller offenses; the supreme courts have jurisdiction of treason, murder, and other high crimes. Jurisdiction is secular or ecclesiastical.2. Power of governing or legislating. The legislature of one state can exercise no jurisdiction in another.3. The power or right of exercising authority. Nations claim exclusive jurisdiction on the sea, to the extent of a marine league from the main land or shore.4. The limit within which power may be exercised.
Jurisdiction, in its most general sense, is the power to make, declare or apply the law; when confined to the judiciary department, it is what we denominate the judicial power,the right of administering justice through the laws, by the means which the laws have provided for that purpose. Jurisdiction, is limited to place or territory, to persons, or to particular subjects.