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Free «Types of Jurisdiction» Essay Sample

Jurisdiction can be defined as the practical power that is formally granted to a political leader, or a legal body to make pronouncements and deal with legal issues, and to maintain justice within a given area of responsibility. Jurisdiction derives its authority from constitutional laws, conflict of laws, international laws, and the authority of the legislative and executive arms of government. There are three key types of jurisdiction: subject matter, territorial, and personal.

Personal jurisdiction

Personal jurisdiction is the authority of a court over a specific item of property or defendant. In a case, where a court lacks personal jurisdiction, then that court cannot be able to pass judgment over property, or hold a defendant to an obligation. In the legal system of America, personal jurisdiction is differentiated from other jurisdictions such as territorial, which refers to the authority given to a court to pass a judgment relating to events that take place within a territory, or subject-matter jurisdiction, which refers to the authority of a court to pass a judgment, relating to a specific issue. Personal jurisdiction is different because objects to it can be waived by a defendant.



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Territorial jurisdiction

In the United States, territorial jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court over persons or events within the limits of a given geographic territory. In a case where a court lacks territorial jurisdiction, then the court is not in a position to adjudicate any rights or bind an individual to an obligation. Similar to personal jurisdiction, territorial jurisdiction can be waived whether unintentionally or intentionally by a defendant.

Subject-matter jurisdiction

Under this jurisdiction, the court has the authority to hear cases of a specific type, or cases concerned with a given subject matter. For example, bankruptcy cases can only be heard by bankruptcy courts. Unlike territorial or personal jurisdiction, the absence of subject-matter cannot in any way be waived. For a case to be decided, a combination of subject jurisdiction and either territorial or personal jurisdiction must be present. For a valid judgment to be passed, adequate notice, territorial or personal jurisdiction, and subject-matter jurisdiction are the primary constitutional requirements that should be present.

The law regulates many, diverse areas of business; the study of business law entails the understanding of ethics that are applied in making decisions. A single business transaction can be influenced by numerous laws that are different. For instance, a given decision can be affected by laws relating to contracts, sales, intellectual property, torts, or agency.

In the United States, the sources of law regarding the legal environment in business include state and US constitution, statutory law that can either be state or federal statutes such as the restatements of the law or uniform commercial code, administrative law, common law, and case law doctrines (Freeman, 2001).

Common law is a key foundation of the legal environment of business. It is made up of the laws that are created, and applied by judges in dispute resolution among private parties. The judiciary enforces and interprets the laws which are passed by legislative organizations. In the United States, the common law is considered to be the oldest sources of law. This law can be traced from the colonial times whereby internal matters were governed by English common law. In promoting commerce and maintaining social order, common law was retained by colonialists when the United States gained independence. Common law has the advantage that it can change with time; this means that as changes take place in social values or technology, common law provides new rules, and evolves in such a way as to integrate better with the new environment (Meiners, Ringleb & Edwards, 2008).

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Case law is based on earlier judicial decisions that were used in resolving similar disputes. Under case law, the crucial cases are collected and recorded so as to settle disputes which are similar pat cases. Under case laws, judges study past cases, which act as guidance for the present cases.

The importance of international trade and laws

International trade refers to the exchange of services and goods cross national borders. International trade is beneficial because it forms the backbone of the commercial and the modern world as producers in numerous nations aim at benefiting from a market that is expanded, as opposed to being limited to trading within their borders. International trade is beneficial because it contributes substantially to the full development of a country. It brings about economic, social, and political uplifting of nations. In many nations, international trade promotes globalization, and contributes immensely to a nation’s gross domestic product.

International laws are concerned with the conduct and structure of intergovernmental organizations, analogous entities, like the Holy See, and sovereign states. To a lesser extent, international laws may have an impact on individuals and multinational corporations. This influence is increasingly moving beyond legal enforcement and interpretations. International law combines two key branches: international conventions and agreements, and laws of nations. The increased importance and use of international laws over the 20th century have been due to an increase in environmental deterioration, armed conflict, global trade on a universal scale, a boom in worldwide communications, vast and rapid rise in international transportation, and awareness of violations of human rights (Shaw, 2003).

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International trade laws consist of appropriate customs and rules that are used in regulating trade between private companies, or countries across borders. International trade laws are enforced by organizations such as World Trade Organization and General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade. Throughout the 20th century, GATT has been influential in enforcing international trade laws and especially on the regulations on trading practices that are considered as unfair such as subsidies and dumping.


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