Original jurisdiction

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 court has the power to review a lower court's decision.



The lowest civil court of France, the tribunal de première instance ("Court of Common Pleas"), has original jurisdiction over most civil matters except areas of specialist exclusive jurisdiction, those being mainly land estates, business and consumer matters, social security, and labor. All criminal matters may pass summarily through the lowest criminal court, the tribunal de police, but each court has both original and limited jurisdiction over certain separate levels of offences:

  • juge de proximité ("Magistrate Court") - petty misdemeanors and violations;
  • tribunal de police ("Police Court") - gross misdemeanors or summary offences (summary jurisdiction);
  • tribunal correctionnel ("Criminal Court") - felonies or indictable offences generally;
  • cour d'assises ("Court of Sessions") - capital and first-degree felonies or major indictable offences, high crimes, crimes against the State.

For the administrative stream, any administrative court has original jurisdiction. However, while the Council of State has supreme appellate jurisdiction for administrative appeals, it also has original jurisdiction on a number of matters brought against national governmental authorities including cases against statutory instruments (executive and ministerial orders) and certain types of administrative decisions. These decisions are made up out of 2/3 Congress's vote.

United States

In the United States, courts having original jurisdiction are referred to as trial courts. In certain types of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction concurrently with lower courts. The original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court is governed by Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.

In the federal court system and most U.S. states, there is not one type of trial court, but several. That is, there are several specialized courts with original jurisdiction over specific types of matters, and then a court with original jurisdiction over anything not reserved to more specialized courts. In some states, the latter type of trial courts often also have appellate jurisdiction from the more specialized courts, and are therefore called superior courts to distinguish them from inferior courts.

See also

  • First instance


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • original jurisdiction — see jurisdiction Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. original jurisdiction …   Law dictionary

  • original jurisdiction — The jurisdiction conferred on or inherent in a court in the first instance. 20 Am J2d Cis § 98. The jurisdiction of a trial court, as distinguished from the jurisdiction exercised by an appellate court or a court with supervisory powers. 20 Am… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • original jurisdiction — noun : jurisdiction of first instance : authority of a court that takes cognizance of a controversy at the inception of legal proceedings therein …   Useful english dictionary

  • original jurisdiction — first court which ruled on a claim …   English contemporary dictionary

  • court of original jurisdiction — A court where a matter is initiated and heard in the first instance; a trial court. Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations …   Law dictionary

  • jurisdiction — ju·ris·dic·tion /ˌju̇r əs dik shən/ n [Latin jurisdictio, from juris, genitive of jus law + dictio act of saying, from dicere to say] 1: the power, right, or authority to interpret, apply, and declare the law (as by rendering a decision) to be… …   Law dictionary

  • original — orig·i·nal n 1: that from which a copy or reproduction is made both parties signed the original compare duplicate 2: a work composed firsthand as the product of an author s creativity ◇ A work must be an original in order to obtain a copyright.… …   Law dictionary

  • Jurisdiction — In law, jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak ) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and,… …   Wikipedia

  • Jurisdiction stripping — Constitutional Law of the United States of America The constitutional structure Civil Rights  · Federalism Executive branch  · Separation of powers Legislative branch  · Judiciary …   Wikipedia

  • jurisdiction — n. 1) to have jurisdiction 2) local jurisdiction 3) original; primary jurisdiction (a court of original jurisdiction) 4) jurisdiction over (to have jurisdiction over a case) 5) outside; under, within a jurisdiction (that case is under the… …   Combinatory dictionary

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