Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning "law" and dicere meaning "to speak") is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined field of responsibility, e.g., Michigan tax law. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels; e.g. the court has jurisdiction to apply federal law.

Colloquially it is used to refer to the geographical area to which such authority applies, e.g. the court has jurisdiction over all of Colorado. The legal term refers only to the granted authority, not to a geographical area.

Jurisdiction draws its substance from 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 society.

International dimension

Generally, international laws and treaties provide agreements which nations agree to be bound to. Such agreements are not always established or maintained. The exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction by three principles outlined in the UN charter. These are equality of states,territorial sovereignty and non-intervention.[1] This raises the question of when can a states prescribe or enforce jurisdiction. The Lotus case establishes two key rules to the prescription and enforcement of jurisdiction. The case outlines that jurisdiction is territorial and that a state may not exercise is jurisdiction in the territory of another state unless there is a rule that permits this.[2] On that same note, states enjoy a wide measure of discretion to prescribe jurisdiction over persons,property and acts within their own territory unless there was a rule that prohibits this.[3]

Political issue

Supranational organizations provide mechanisms whereby disputes between nations may be resolved through arbitration or mediation. When a country is recognized as de jure, it is an acknowledgment by the other de jure nations that the country has sovereignty and the right to exist.

However, it is often at the discretion of each nation whether to co-operate or participate. If a nation does agree to participate in activities of the supranational bodies and accept decisions, the nation is giving up its sovereign authority and thereby allocating power to these bodies.

Insofar as these bodies or nominated individuals may resolve disputes through judicial or quasi-judicial means, or promote treaty obligations in the nature of laws, the power ceded to these bodies cumulatively represents its own jurisdiction. But no matter how powerful each body may appear to be, the extent to which any of their judgments may be enforced, or proposed treaties and conventions may become, or remain, effective within the territorial boundaries of each nation is a political matter under the sovereign control each nation.

International and municipal

The fact that international organizations, courts and tribunals have been created raises the difficult question of how to co-ordinate their activities with those of national courts. If the two sets of bodies do not have concurrent jurisdiction but, as in the case of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the relationship is expressly based on the principle of complementarity, i.e., the international court is subsidiary or complementary to national courts, the difficulty is avoided. But if the jurisdiction claimed is concurrent, or as in the case of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the international tribunal is to prevail over national courts, the problems are more difficult to resolve politically.

The idea of universal jurisdiction is fundamental to the operation of global organizations such as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which jointly assert the benefit of maintaining legal entities with jurisdiction over a wide range of matters of significance to nations (the ICJ should not be confused with the ICC and this version of "universal jurisdiction" is not the same as that enacted in the War Crimes Law (Belgium) which is an assertion of extraterritorial jurisdiction that will fail to gain implementation in any other state under the standard provisions of public policy). Under Article 34 Statute of the ICJ[4] only nations may be parties in cases before the Court and, under Article 36, the jurisdiction comprises all cases which the parties refer to it and all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or in treaties and conventions in force. But, to invoke the jurisdiction in any given case, all the parties have to accept the prospective judgment as binding. This reduces the risk of wasting the Court's time.

Despite the safeguards built into the constitutions of most of these organizations, courts and tribunals, the concept of universal jurisdiction is controversial among those nations which prefer unilateral to multilateral solutions through the use of executive or military authority, sometimes described as realpolitik-based diplomacy.

Within other international contexts, there are intergovernmental organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) that have socially and economically significant dispute resolution functions but, again, even though their jurisdiction may be invoked to hear the cases, the power to enforce their decisions is at the will of the nations affected, save that the WTO is permitted to allow retaliatory action by successful nations against those nations found to be in breach of international trade law. At a regional level, groups of nations can create political and legal bodies with sometimes complicated patchworks of overlapping provisions detailing the jurisdictional relationships between the member states and providing for some degree of harmonization between their national legislative and judicial functions, for example, the European Union and African Union both have the potential to become federated nations although the political barriers to such unification in the face of entrenched nationalism will be very difficult to overcome. Each such group may form transnational institutions with declared legislative or judicial powers. For example, in Europe, the European Court of Justice has been given jurisdiction as the ultimate appellate court to the member states on issues of European law. This jurisdiction is entrenched and its authority could only be denied by a member nation if that member nation asserts its sovereignty and withdraws from the union.

Law

The standard treaties and conventions leave the issue of implementation to each nation, i.e. there is no general rule in international law that treaties have direct effect in municipal law, but some nations, by virtue of their membership of supranational bodies, allow the direct incorporation of rights or enact legislation to honor their international commitments. Hence, citizens in those nations can invoke the jurisdiction of local courts to enforce rights granted under international law wherever there is incorporation. If there is no direct effect or legislation, there are two theories to justify the courts incorporating international into municipal law:

  • Monism
This theory characterizes international and municipal law as a single legal system with municipal law subordinate to international law. Hence, in the Netherlands, all treaties and the orders of international organizations are effective without any action being required to convert international into municipal law. This has an interesting consequence because treaties that limit or extend the powers of the Dutch government are automatically considered a part of their constitutional law, for example, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In nations adopting this theory, the local courts automatically accept jurisdiction to adjudicate on lawsuits relying on international law principles.
  • Dualism
This theory regards international and municipal law as separate systems so that the municipal courts can only apply international law either when it has been incorporated into municipal law or when the courts incorporate international law on their own motion. In the United Kingdom, for example, a treaty is not effective until it has been incorporated at which time it becomes enforceable in the courts by any private citizen, where appropriate, even against the UK Government. Otherwise the courts have a discretion to apply international law where it does not conflict with statute or the common law. The constitutional principle of parliamentary supremacy permits the legislature to enact any law inconsistent with any international treaty obligations even though the government is a signatory to those treaties.

In the United States, the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution makes all treaties that have been ratified under the authority of the United States and customary international law a part of the "Supreme Law of the Land" (along with the Constitution itself and acts of Congress passed pursuant to it) (U.S. Const.art. VI Cl. 2) and, as such, the law of the land is binding on the federal government as well as on state and local governments. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the treaty power authorizes Congress to legislate under the Necessary and Proper Clause in areas beyond those specifically conferred on Congress (Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920)).

International

This concerns the relationships both between courts in different jurisdictions, and between courts within the same jurisdiction. The usual legal doctrine under which questions of jurisdiction are decided is termed forum non conveniens.

To deal with the issue of forum shopping, nations are urged to adopt more positive rules on conflict of laws. The Hague Conference and other international bodies have made recommendations on jurisdictional matters, but litigants with the encouragement of lawyers on a contingent fee continue to shop for forums.

Jurisdiction Principles

Under international law there are different principles that are recognized to establish a States ability to exercise criminal jurisdiction when it comes a person. There is no hierarchy when it comes to any of the principle and does require that States work together to solve issues of who may exercise their jurisdiction when it comes to issues of multiple principles being allowed. The principles are Territorial Principle, Nationality Principle, Passive Personality Principle, Protective Principle, Universality Principle

Territorial Principle: The principle states that the State where the crime has been committed may exercise jurisdiction. This is one of the most straight forward and least controversial of the principles. This is also the only principle that is territorial in nature, all other forms are extraterritorial.[5][6]

Nationality Principle: This principle is based around a person nationality and allows States to exercise jurisdiction when it comes to their nationality, both within and outside the State’s territory. Seeing as the territoriality principle already gives the State the right to exercise jurisdiction, this principle is primarily used as a justification when prosecuting crimes committed abroad by their people.[7][8]

Passive Personality Principle: This principle allows States to exercise jurisdiction against foreign nationals that effects their own nationals. Similar in style to the nationality principle, except that the idea is to protect your nationals (the victim) from others.[9][10]

Protective Principle: This principle allows States to exercise jurisdiction when it comes to foreign nationals for acts committed outside their territory that have or intended to have a prejudicial impact upon the State. It is especially used when it comes to matters of national security.[11][12]

Universality Principle: This is the broadest of the principles. The bases is that a State has the right, and sometimes even an obligation, to exercise jurisdiction when it comes to criminal law. The principle goes even further then the other principles as there is attached to it the obligation to prosecute the accussed or extradite to a State that will, known as aut dedere aut judicare.[13][14]

Supranational

At a supranational level, countries have adopted a range of treaty and convention obligations to relate the right of individual litigants to invoke the jurisdiction of national courts and to enforce the judgments obtained. For example, the member nations of the EEC signed the Brussels Convention in 1968 and, subject to amendments as new nations joined, it represents the default law for all twenty-seven Member States of what is now termed the European Union on the relationships between the courts in the different countries. In addition, the Lugano Convention (1988) binds the European Union and the European Free Trade Association.

In effect from 1 March 2002, all the member states of the EU except Denmark accepted Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001, which makes major changes to the Brussels Convention and is directly effective in the member nations. Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 now also applies as between the rest of the EU Member States and Denmark due to an agreement reached between the European Community and Denmark.[15] In some legal areas, at least, the CACA enforcement of foreign judgments is now more straightforward. At a national level, the traditional rules still determine jurisdiction over persons who are not domiciled or habitually resident in the European Union or the Lugano area.

National

Many nations are subdivided into states or provinces (i.e. a subnational "state"). In a federation — as can be found in Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico and the United States) — such subunits will exercise jurisdiction through the court systems as defined by the executives and legislatures.

When the jurisdictions of government entities overlap one another—for example between a state and the federation to which it belongs—their jurisdiction is a shared or concurrent jurisdiction.

Otherwise, one government entity will have exclusive jurisdiction over the shared area. When jurisdiction is concurrent, one government 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 have only limited restrictions, these government branches have plenary power such as a national policing power. Otherwise, an enabling act grants only limited or enumerated powers.

Child custody cases in the U.S. are a prime example of jurisdictional dilemmas caused by different states under a federal alignment. When parents and children are in different states, there is the possibility of different state court orders over-ruling each other. The U.S. solved this problem by adopting the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The act established criteria for determining which state has primary jurisdiction.[16]

United States

The primary distinctions between areas of jurisdiction are codified at a national level. As a common law system, jurisdiction is conceptually divided between jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case (called in rem) and jurisdiction over the person (called in personam).[17] A court may use jurisdiction over property located within the perimeter of its powers without regard to personal jurisdiction over the litigants; this is an example of in rem jurisdiction.

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 U.S. states, each state has courts of general jurisdiction; most states also have some courts of limited jurisdiction. Federal courts (those operated by the federal government) are courts of limited jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction is divided into federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. The United States district courts may hear only 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.

Certain courts, particularly the United States Supreme Court and most state supreme courts, have discretionary jurisdiction, meaning that they can choose which cases to hear from among all the cases presented on appeal. Such courts generally only choose to hear cases that would settle important and controversial points of law. Though these courts have discretion to deny cases they otherwise could adjudicate, no court has the discretion to hear a case that falls outside of its subject matter jurisdiction.

It is also necessary to distinguish between original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction. A court of original jurisdiction has the power to hear cases as they are first initiated by a plaintiff, while a court of appellate jurisdiction may only hear an action after the court of original jurisdiction (or a lower appellate court) has heard the matter. For example, in United States federal courts, the United States district courts have original jurisdiction over a number of different matters (as mentioned above), and the United States court of appeals have appellate jurisdiction over matters appealed from the district courts. The U.S. Supreme Court, in turn, has appellate jurisdiction (of a discretionary nature) over the Courts of Appeals, as well as the state supreme courts, by means of writ of certiorari.

However, in a special class of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has the power to exercise original jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1251, the Supreme court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over controversies between two or more states, and original (but non-exclusive) jurisdiction over cases involving officials of foreign states, controversies between the federal government and a state, actions by a state against the citizens of another state or foreign country.

As a practical example of court jurisdiction, as of 2013 Utah has five types of courts, each for different legal matters and different physical territories.[18] One-hundred-and-eight judges oversee Justice Courts, which handle traffic and parking citations, misdemeanor crimes, and most small claims cases. Seventy-one judges preside over District Courts, which deal with civil cases exceeding small claims limits, probate law, felony criminal cases, divorce and child custody cases, some small claims, and appeals from Justice Courts. Twenty-eight judges handle Juvenile Court, which oversees most people under 18 years old who are accused of a crime, as well as cases of alleged child abuse or neglect; serious crimes committed by 16 or 17 year old persons may be referred to the District Courts. Seven judges in the Appeals Court hear most criminal appeals from District Courts, all appeals from juvenile court and all domestic/divorce cases from District Court, as well as some cases transferred to them by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court seats five judges who hear appeals on first-degree felonies (the most serious) including capital crimes, as well as all civil cases from District Court (excepting divorce/domestic cases). The Supreme Court also oversees cases involving interpretation of the state Constitution, election matters, judicial conduct, and alleged misconduct by lawyers. This example shows how matters arising in the same physical territory might be seen in different courts. A minor traffic infraction originating in Orem, Utah is handled by the Orem Justice Court. However, a second-degree felony arrest and a first-degree felony arrest in Orem would be under the jurisdiction of the District Court in Provo, Utah. If both the minor traffic offense and the felony arrests resulted in guilty verdicts, the traffic conviction could be appealed to the District Court in Provo, while the second-degree felony appeal would be heard by the Appeals Court in Salt Lake City and the first-degree felony appeal would be heard by the Supreme Court. Similarly for civil matters, a small claims case arising in Orem would probably be heard in the Orem Justice Court, while a divorce filed by an Orem resident would be heard by the District Court in Provo. The above examples apply only to cases of Utah state law; any case under Federal jurisdiction would be handled by a different court system. All Federal cases arising in Utah are under the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of Utah, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and would be heard in one of three Federal courthouses.

Colloquially

The word "jurisdiction" is also used, especially in informal writing, to refer to a state or political subdivision generally, or to its government, rather than to its legal authority.[19]

Franchise jurisdiction

In the history of English common law, a jurisdiction could be held as a form of property (or more precisely an incorporeal hereditament) called a franchise. Traditional franchise jurisdictions of various powers were held by municipal corporations, religious houses, guilds, early universities, Welsh Marches, and Counties Palatine. Types of franchise courts included Courts Baron, Courts Leet, merchant courts, and the Stannary Courts which dealt with disputes involving the tin miners of Cornwall. The original royal charters of the American colonies included broad grants of franchise jurisdiction along with other governmental powers to corporations or individuals, as did the charters for many other colonial companies such as the British East India Company and British South Africa Company. Analogous jurisdiction existed in medieval times on the European Continent. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, franchise jurisdictions were largely eliminated. Several formerly important franchise courts were not officially abolished until Courts Act of 1971.

See also

References

  1. ^ author., Boister, Neil,. An introduction to transnational criminal law. p. 247. ISBN 9780198795995. OCLC 1035427772.
  2. ^ SS Lotus (France v Turkey), 1927 PCIJ series A No.10, para 19
  3. ^ Ibid., para 19
  4. ^ "ICJ-CIJ.org". icj-cij.org. Archived from the original on 3 December 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  5. ^ Gideon Boas, Public International Law: Contemporary Principle and Perspectives (Edward Elgar 2012) pp251-254.
  6. ^ Malcom Shaw, International Law (6th edition, Cambridge University Press 2008) pp652-659.
  7. ^ Gideon Boas, Public International Law: Contemporary Principle and Perspectives (Edward Elgar 2012) pp255-256.
  8. ^ Malcom Shaw, International Law (6th edition, Cambridge University Press 2008) pp659-664.
  9. ^ Gideon Boas, Public International Law: Contemporary Principle and Perspectives (Edward Elgar 2012) pp257-258.
  10. ^ Malcom Shaw, International Law (6th edition, Cambridge University Press 2008) pp6664-666.
  11. ^ Gideon Boas, Public International Law: Contemporary Principle and Perspectives (Edward Elgar 2012) pp256-257.
  12. ^ Malcom Shaw, International Law (6th edition, Cambridge University Press 2008) pp666-668.
  13. ^ Gideon Boas, Public International Law: Contemporary Principle and Perspectives (Edward Elgar 2012) pp258-259.
  14. ^ Malcom Shaw, International Law (6th edition, Cambridge University Press 2008) pp668-686.
  15. ^ http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2005:299:0062:0070:EN:PDF
  16. ^ "Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Summary". Uniform Laws Commission. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  17. ^ Staff, LII (2007-08-06). "Jurisdiction". LII / Legal Information Institute. Archived from the original on 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-08-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Jurisdiction - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Archived from the original on 2009-04-24. See also, e.g., "Metro's $11 Billion To-Do List," Archived 2017-10-13 at the Wayback Machine in The Washington Post: "Local jurisdictions are also facing shortfalls, and much will depend on the economy and political decisions at the local, state and federal levels"; "Teacher pension pinch," in The Baltimore Sun: "Large, affluent jurisdictions have scores of high-salaried teachers with correspondingly higher pension costs."

External links

Admiralty law

Admiralty law or maritime law is a body of law that governs nautical issues and private maritime disputes. Admiralty law consists of both domestic law on maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private parties operating or using ocean-going ships. While each legal jurisdiction usually has its own legislation governing maritime matters, the international nature of the topic and the need for uniformity has, since 1900, led to considerable international maritime law developments, including numerous multilateral treaties.Admiralty law may be distinguished from the Law of the Sea, which is a body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters, and the maritime relationships between nations. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has been adopted by 167 countries and the European Union, and disputes are resolved at the ITLOS tribunal in Hamburg.

City of federal subject significance

City of federal subject significance is an umbrella term used to refer to a type of an administrative division of a federal subject of Russia which is equal in status to a district but is organized around a large city; occasionally with surrounding rural territories.

Construction

Construction is the process of constructing a building or infrastructure. Construction differs from manufacturing in that manufacturing typically involves mass production of similar items without a designated purchaser, while construction typically takes place on location for a known client. Construction as an industry comprises six to nine percent of the gross domestic product of developed countries. Construction starts with planning, design, and financing; it continues until the project is built and ready for use.

Large-scale construction requires collaboration across multiple disciplines. A project manager normally manages the job, and a construction manager, design engineer, construction engineer or architect supervises it. Those involved with the design and execution must consider zoning requirements, environmental impact of the job, scheduling, budgeting, construction-site safety, availability and transportation of building materials, logistics, inconvenience to the public caused by construction delays and bidding. Large construction projects are sometimes referred to as megaprojects.

Court

A court is any person or institution with authority to judge or adjudicate, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all people have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court.

The system of courts that interprets and applies the law is collectively known as the judiciary. The place where a court sits is known as a venue. The room where court proceedings occur is known as a courtroom, and the building as a courthouse; court facilities range from simple and very small facilities in rural communities to large buildings in cities.

The practical authority given to the court is known as its jurisdiction (Latin: jus dicere') – the court's power to decide certain kinds of questions or petitions put to it. According to William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, a court is constituted by a minimum of three parties: the actor or plaintiff, who complains of an injury done; the reus or defendant, who is called upon to make satisfaction for it, and the judex or judicial power, which is to examine the truth of the fact, to determine the law arising upon that fact, and, if any injury appears to have been done, to ascertain and by its officers to apply a legal remedy. It is also usual in the superior courts to have barristers, and attorneys or counsel, as assistants, though, often, courts consist of additional barristers, bailiffs, reporters, and perhaps a jury.

The term "the court" is also used to refer to the presiding officer or officials, usually one or more judges. The judge or panel of judges may also be collectively referred to as "the bench" (in contrast to attorneys and barristers, collectively referred to as "the bar"). In the United States, and other common law jurisdictions, the term "court" (in the case of U.S. federal courts) by law is used to describe the judge himself or herself.In the United States, the legal authority of a court to take action is based on personal jurisdiction over the parties to the litigation and subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted.

England and Wales

England and Wales (Welsh: Lloegr a Chymru) is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four nations of the United Kingdom. "England and Wales" forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows a single legal system, known as English law.

The devolved National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was created in 1999 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom under the Government of Wales Act 1998 and provides a degree of self-government in Wales. The powers of the Assembly were expanded by the Government of Wales Act 2006, which allows it to pass its own laws, and the Act also formally separated the Welsh Government from the Assembly. There is no equivalent body for England, which is directly governed by the Parliament and the government of the United Kingdom.

English law

English law is the common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures.

Extradition

Extradition is an act where one jurisdiction delivers a person accused or convicted of committing a crime in another jurisdiction, over to their law enforcement. It is a cooperative law enforcement process between the two jurisdictions and depends on the arrangements made between them. Besides the legal aspects of the process, extradition also involves the physical transfer of custody of the person being extradited to the legal authority of the requesting jurisdiction.Through the extradition process, one sovereign jurisdiction typically makes a formal request to another sovereign jurisdiction ("the requested state"). If the fugitive is found within the territory of the requested state, then the requested state may arrest the fugitive and subject him or her to its extradition process. The extradition procedures to which the fugitive will be subjected are dependent on the law and practice of the requested state.Between countries, extradition is normally regulated by treaties. Where extradition is compelled by laws, such as among sub-national jurisdictions, the concept may be known more generally as rendition. It is an ancient mechanism, dating back to at least the 13th century BC, when an Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramesses II, negotiated an extradition treaty with Hittite King, Hattusili III.

Freemasonry

Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality play and part lecture. The three degrees are offered by Craft (or Blue Lodge) Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by their own bodies (separate from those who administer the craft degrees).

The basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are usually supervised and governed at the regional level (usually coterminous with either a state, province, or national border) by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient. There is no international, worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry; each Grand Lodge is independent, and they do not necessarily recognise each other as being legitimate.

Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a Supreme Being, that no women are admitted (although, in some jurisdictions, those who transition to women after being initiated may stay; see below), and that the discussion of religion and politics is banned. Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the jurisdictions which have removed some, or all, of these restrictions.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice, abbreviated as ICJ, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It settles legal disputes between member states and gives advisory opinions to authorized UN organs and specialized agencies. It comprises a panel of 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms. It is seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction only when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court. The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force. The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC's foundational and governing document. States which become party to the Rome Statute, for example by ratifying it, become member states of the ICC. As of March 2019, there are 124 ICC member states.

The ICC has four principal organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The President is the most senior judge chosen by his or her peers in the Judicial Division, which hears cases before the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor is headed by the Prosecutor who investigates crimes and initiates proceedings before the Judicial Division. The Registry is headed by the Registrar and is charged with managing all the administrative functions of the ICC, including the headquarters, detention unit, and public defense office.

The Office of the Prosecutor has opened ten official investigations and is also conducting an additional eleven preliminary examinations. Thus far, 44 individuals have been indicted in the ICC, including Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, and DR Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

The ICC has faced a number of criticisms from states and civil society, including objections about its jurisdiction, accusations of bias, questioning of the fairness of its case-selection and trial procedures, and doubts about its effectiveness.

Law enforcement agency

A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.

Outside North America, such organizations are usually called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police, others are known as sheriff's offices/departments, while investigative police services in the United States are often called bureaus, for example the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

List of Regional Transport Office districts in India

This is a list of the Indian Regional Transport Offices and the assigned codes for vehicle registration. These are broken down to states or Union Territories and their districts.

The offices are all belonging to a certain type:

ARTO : Additional Transport Office

AssRTO : Assistant Regional Transport Office

DTC : Deputy Transport Commissioner

DTO : District Transport Office

DyDZO : Deputy Directorate Zonal Office

DyRTO : Deputy Regional Transport Office

JTC : Joint Transport Commissioner

LA : Licensing Authority

MVI : Motor Vehicle Inspector

PVD : Public Vehicles Department

RLA : Regional Licensing Authority

RTA : Regional Transport Authority

RTO : Regional Transport Office

SDivO : Subdivisional Office

SDM : Subdivisional Magistrate

SRTO : Subdivisional Regional Transport Office

STA : State Transport Authority

UO : Unit Office

WIAA : Western India Automobile Associationin maharashtra get a new rto code no. 51-nashik rural

List of high courts in India

There are 25 high courts at the state and union territory level of India, which together with the Supreme Court of India at the national level, comprise the country's judicial system. Each high court has jurisdiction over a state, a union territory or a group of states and union territories. Below the high courts is a hierarchy of subordinate courts such as the civil courts, family courts, criminal courts and various other district courts. High courts are instituted as constitutional courts under Part VI, Chapter V, Article 214 of the Indian constitution.The high courts are the principal civil courts of original jurisdiction in each state and union territory. However, a high court exercises its original civil and criminal jurisdiction only if the subordinate courts are not authorized by law to try such matters for lack of pecuniary, territorial jurisdiction. High courts may also enjoy original jurisdiction in certain matters, if so designated specifically in a state or federal law.

However, the work of most high courts primarily consists of appeals from lower courts and writ petitions in terms of Article 226 of the constitution. Writ jurisdiction is also an original jurisdiction of a high court. The precise territorial jurisdiction of each high court varies. The appeal order is the following: tehsil-kotwali-criminal/civil courts → district court → high court → supreme court.

Each state is divided into judicial districts presided over by a district and sessions judge. He is known as district judge when he presides over a civil case, and sessions judge when he presides over a criminal case. He is the highest judicial authority below a high court judge. Below him, there are courts of civil jurisdiction, known by different names in different states. Under Article 141 of the constitution, all courts in India — including high courts — are bound by the judgments and orders of the Supreme Court of India by precedence.

Judges in a high court are appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the governor of the state. High courts are headed by a chief justice. The chief justices rank fourteenth (within their respective states) and seventeenth (outside their respective states) on the Indian order of precedence. The number of judges in a court is decided by dividing the average institution of main cases during the last five years by the national average, or the average rate of disposal of main cases per judge per year in that High Court, whichever is higher.

The Calcutta High Court is the oldest high court in the country, established on 2 July 1862. High courts that handle a large number of cases of a particular region have permanent benches established there. Benches are also present in states which come under the jurisdiction of a court outside its territorial limits. Smaller states with few cases may have circuit benches established. Circuit benches (known as circuit courts in some parts of the world) are temporary courts which hold proceedings for a few selected months in a year. Thus cases built up during this interim period are judged when the circuit court is in session. According to a study conducted by Bangalore-based NGO, Daksh, on 21 high courts in collaboration with the Ministry of Law and Justice in March 2015, it was found that average pendency of a case in high courts in India is 3 years.

Marbury v. Madison

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803), was a U.S. Supreme Court case that established the principle of judicial review in the United States, meaning that American courts have the power to strike down laws, statutes, and some government actions that contravene the U.S. Constitution. Decided in 1803, Marbury remains the single most important decision in American constitutional law. The Court's landmark decision established that the U.S. Constitution is actual "law", not just a statement of political principles and ideals, and helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the American form of government.

The case originated from the political and ideological rivalry between outgoing U.S. President John Adams, who espoused the pro-business and pro-national-government ideals of Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party, and incoming President Thomas Jefferson, who led the Democratic-Republican Party and favored agriculture and decentralization. Adams had lost the U.S. presidential election of 1800 to Jefferson, and in March 1801, just two days before his term as president ended, Adams appointed several dozen Federalist Party supporters to new circuit judge and justice of the peace positions in an attempt to frustrate Jefferson and his supporters in the Democratic-Republican Party. The U.S. Senate quickly confirmed Adams's appointments, but upon Jefferson's inauguration two days later, a few of the new judges' commissions still had not been delivered. Jefferson believed the commissions were void because they had not been delivered in time, and instructed his new Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver them. One of the men whose commissions had not been delivered in time was William Marbury, a Maryland businessman who had been a strong supporter of Adams and the Federalists. In late 1801, after Madison had repeatedly refused to deliver his commission, Marbury filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court asking the Court to issue a writ of mandamus forcing Madison to deliver his commission.In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Marshall, the Court held firstly that Madison's refusal to deliver Marbury's commission was illegal, and secondly that it was normally proper for a court in such situations to order the government official in question to deliver the commission. However, in Marbury's case, the Court did not order Madison to comply. Examining the law Congress had passed that gave the Supreme Court jurisdiction over types of cases like Marbury's, Marshall found that it had expanded the definition of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction beyond what was originally set down in the U.S. Constitution. Marshall then struck down the law, announcing that American courts have the power to invalidate laws that they find to violate the Constitution. Because this meant the Court had no jurisdiction over the case, it could not issue the writ that Marbury had requested.

Metropolis (religious jurisdiction)

A metropolis religious jurisdiction, or a metropolitan archdiocese, is an episcopal see whose bishop is the metropolitan bishop of an ecclesiastical province. Metropolises, historically, have been important cities in their provinces.

Original jurisdiction

The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a higher court has the power to review a lower court's decision. Original jurisdiction refers to the right of the Supreme court to hear a case for the first time. It has the exclusive right to hear all cases that deal with disputes between states, or between states and the union government. It also has original jurisdiction over cases brought to the court by ordinary people regarding issues to the importance of society at large.

Township

Township refers to various kinds of settlements in different countries.

While a township may be associated with an urban area, there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, Canada, Scotland and the United States, the term refers to settlements too small or scattered to be considered urban.

United States district court

The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court. Each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, and many districts have more than one. The formal name of a district court is "the United States District Court for" the name of the district—for example, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

In contrast to the Supreme Court, which was established by Article III of the Constitution, the district courts were established by Congress. There is no constitutional requirement that district courts exist at all. Indeed, after the ratification of the Constitution, some opponents of a strong federal judiciary urged that, outside jurisdictions under direct federal control, like Washington, D.C., and the territories, the federal court system be limited to the Supreme Court, which would hear appeals from state courts. This view did not prevail, however, and the first Congress created the district court system that is still in place today.

There is at least one judicial district for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. District courts in three insular areas—the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands—exercise the same jurisdiction as Article III U.S. district courts. Despite their name, these courts are technically not "District Courts of the United States". Judges on these Article IV territorial courts do not enjoy the protections of Article Three of the Constitution, and serve terms of ten years rather than for life.

There are 89 districts in the 50 states, with a total of 94 districts including territories.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.The Act contains numerous provisions that regulate elections. The Act's "general provisions" provide nationwide protections for voting rights. Section 2 is a general provision that prohibits every state and local government from imposing any voting law that results in discrimination against racial or language minorities. Other general provisions specifically outlaw literacy tests and similar devices that were historically used to disenfranchise racial minorities.

The Act also contains "special provisions" that apply to only certain jurisdictions. A core special provision is the Section 5 preclearance requirement, which prohibits certain jurisdictions from implementing any change affecting voting without receiving preapproval from the U.S. Attorney General or the U.S. District Court for D.C. that the change does not discriminate against protected minorities. Another special provision requires jurisdictions containing significant language minority populations to provide bilingual ballots and other election materials.

Section 5 and most other special provisions apply to jurisdictions encompassed by the "coverage formula" prescribed in Section 4(b). The coverage formula was originally designed to encompass jurisdictions that engaged in egregious voting discrimination in 1965, and Congress updated the formula in 1970 and 1975. In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula as unconstitutional, reasoning that it was no longer responsive to current conditions. The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without a coverage formula, Section 5 is unenforceable.

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