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For an article concerning the powers of courts and public authority, see jurisdiction.

A jurisdiction is an area with a set of laws under the control of a system of courts or government entity which are different from neighbouring areas.<ref>For examples of usage of the word jurisdiction in this context, please see:
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Each state in a federation such as Australia, Germany and the United States forms a separate jurisdiction. However, sometimes certain laws in a federal state are uniform across the constituent states and enforced by a set of federal courts; with a result that the federal state forms a single jurisdiction for that purpose.

It is also possible for a jurisdiction to prosecute for crimes committed somewhere outside its jurisdiction, once the perpetrator returns<ref>http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/31/AR2009083102291.html</ref> In some cases, a citizen of another jurisdiction outside its own can be extradited to where a jurisdiction where the crime is illegal, even if it was not committed in that jurisdiction.<ref>http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/copyright-infringement-tv-shack-extradition-to-u-s/</ref><ref>http://www.dba-oracle.com/oracle_news/news_web_law_extradited_prison_internet_content.htm</ref>

Unitary states are usually single jurisdictions, but the United Kingdom is a notable exception; it has three separate jurisdictions due to its three separate legal systems.


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