Jurisdiction endows an actor with the authority to provide binding answers to legal questions. Etymological observations reveal that an analysis of legal validity necessarily requires grasping the notion of jurisdiction. After all, the Latin roots of the term ‘jurisdiction’ – juris dicere – can be translated as ‘speaking the law’. In international law, the notion of jurisdiction serves to delimit international and domestic spheres of competence. Traditionally tied to territorial sovereignty, jurisdiction refers to the legislative, judicial, and executive power of the state bindingly to determine who speaks in the name of the law – and about whom is (merely) spoken. A central theme in this debate is the question of how this unfolds in international law.
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