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court, courts, jurisdictio and law

JURISDICTION. This term is the Latin word Jurisdictio, which simply sig nifies the " declaration of jus or law." He who had jurisdictio was said " jus di cere," to "declare the law." The whole office (officium) of him who declared the law was according expressed by the word Jurisdictio. (Dig., 2, tit. De Jurisdic tione.) Jurisdictio was either voluntary litigant (contentiosa). The jurisdictio voluntaria related to cer tain acts, such for instance as those forms of manumission and adoption, which must be done before a magistratus in order to be valid. The jurisdictio contentiosa related to litigation, and such legal proceedings were said to be " injure," before the ma gistratus, as opposed to the proceedings before a judex, which were said to be " in judicio." The magistratus was said " jus dicere" or " reddere," when he exercised his fanctions ; and " magistratus " and " qui Romae jus dicit" are accordingly convertible terms. Jurisdiction in Eng land means an authority which a court of law or equity has to decide matters that are litigated before it or questions that are tried before it. The courts at Westminster have jurisdiction all over England and Wales ; but the jurisdiction of other courts is limited by being con fined to certain limits of space and to cer tain kinds of causes or matters in dispute.

When the jurisdiction of a court extends all over England, it may still be limited as to the kind of causes which it tries. Thus the superior courts of law and the courts of equity have their several juris dictions as to matters which they hear and determine. [EQurrv.1 The ecclesias tical courts also have their separate juris diction ; and other courts, such as the Court of Insolvency, Borough Courts, and others, have their several jurisdio tions. It follows, that if proceedings are commenced against a man before a court which has no jurisdiction in the matter brought before it, the defendant may an swer by alleging that the court has no jurisdiction ; which is called pleading to the jurisdiction. When a party is con victed by a court that has no juris diction in the matter, the proceedings may be moved into the Court of King's Bench by the writ of Certiorari and quashed. [CERTIORARI.] Those who have limited jurisdiction are liable, it is said, to an action, if they assume a juris diction which they have not.