Course Description

601:615 JURISDICTION (3)


Examines fundamental questions about the idea of "jurisdiction" in the law. The course asks how questions of judicial jurisdiction differ from other sorts of legal questions, and what the consequences of those differences might be. Specific topics include the varying criteria for identifying which legal rules are “jurisdictional,” the direct and collateral authority of judicial decisions rendered in the absence of jurisdiction, the threshold character (or not) of jurisdictional issues, the possibility of "jurisdiction to determine jurisdiction,” waiver of jurisdictional bars, attitudes to the interpretation of jurisdictional statutes, the special problems posed when jurisdictional questions overlap with questions on the merits, distinctions between courts of inferior and superior jurisdiction and between courts of general and limited jurisdiction, notions of "inherent" and "hypothetical" jurisdiction, judicial immunity, jurisdictional facts and the preclusive effect of factual determinations made in dismissals for lack of jurisdiction, habeas corpus as a jurisdictional doctrine or not, the use of jurisdictional concepts in administrative law, and the doctrine of "jurisdictional time limits."