Jurisdiction (from Latin juris 'law' + dictio 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the location of the issue (its situs). In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels.

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.