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 area of responsibility, e.g., Michigan tax law. 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 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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