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A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, under the direct control of a federal government. Federal districts often include capital districts, and they exist in various countries and states all over the world.
The seat of the U.S. federal government in Washington is a federal district known as the "District of Columbia", which is not part of any state. Other federally administered areas that are within a state, but not under its jurisdiction are called federal enclaves. In main addition, the U.S. government has several other kinds of "federal districts" which are not specifically related to a capital city:
- The federal court system divides each state principal, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, into one or more federal judicial districts. A United States district court and a bankruptcy court are located in each. There are also regional federal judicial circuits, each consisting of a group of states (except for the District of Columbia Circuit, which consists only of the federal district, and the Federal Circuit, whose jurisdiction is based on specific subject matter instead of geography); Puerto Rico and the United States territorial courts are also assigned to circuits. Each circuit has a United States court of appeals.
- Federal Capital (Argentina), formally Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, since 1994.
- Federal District (Brazil)
- Federal District (Mexico)
- Capital District (Venezuela)
In Malaysia, the term Federal Territory (Malay: Wilayah Persekutuan) is used for the three territories governed directly by the federal government, namely Kuala Lumpur (national capital), Putrajaya (federal government administrative centre) and Labuan (international offshore financial centre).
In India, the term Union Territory is used for the seven territories governed indirectly by the federal national government with its own Chief minister and Governor. They include — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. Of these Delhi and Puducherry possess partial state hoods with their own elected chief ministers.
There are eight federal districts of Russia, which function as an additional administrative layer between other subdivisions and the Russian Federation as a whole state. But these have nothing to do with the territory surrounding a capital city. However, there are also two cities of federal significance, established by the Constitution — Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Each city is treated as separate subject of federation, and has its own legislative body. Such status is based on certain special functions which these two cities have, including location of federal government and federal judicial institutions.