Jurisdictional Fact is a concept in Administrative Law.
It is a set of circumstances set out in a statute that must exist before a government official can act. They are created by and operate in the context of government authority produced by statute and are linked to the legal concept of Jurisdiction. A number of scholars have tried with limited success to categorise them.
Some countries like Singapore, India and Canada that have written constitutions can be constrained in their definition of Jurisdictional facts and due to the restraints in their constitutions.[not in citation given]
In Australia the High Court has been reticent to define Jurisdictional facts finding that “The principles as to how one determines whether something is a jurisdictional fact are settled but necessarily imprecise. That must be so.” and that “to define Jurisdictional fact is neither necessary nor desirable.” Despite this Australian Courts have attempted to define Jurisdictional Fact including:
- “A condition of jurisdiction”.
- “A preliminary question on the answer to which … jurisdiction depends”.
- An “event or requirement” constituting “an essential condition of the existence of jurisdiction”. ....”a condition of jurisdiction”, without which a tribunal can not act.
- But the leading definition in Australia is The “criterion, satisfaction of which enlivens the power of the decision-maker” found in Enfield.
These criteria of Jurisdiction are created by and operate through statute, and may be subjective, or objective in nature and may also be a complex of interactions. but they must not be illogical, or capricious and must be actual.
In Singapore the concept is called Precedent fact errors.
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- Anisminic v Foreign Compensation Commission  UKHL 6,  2 AC 147, House of Lords (UK).
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- Craig v South Australia  HCA 58, (1995) 184 CLR 163 at , High Court (Australia)
- Corporation of the City of Enfield v Development Assessment Commission  HCA 5, (2000) 199 CLR 135 at p 148, High Court (Australia).
- Timbarra Protection Coalition Inc v Ross Mining NL  NSWCA 8, (1999) 46 NSWLR 55 at , Court of Appeal (NSW, Australia).
- Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZMDS  HCA 16, (2010) 240 CLR 611 at , High Court (Australia)
- Minister for Immigration v Eshetu  HCA 21, (1999) 197 CLR 611 at , High Court (Australia).
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- Liversidge v Anderson  UKHL 1,  2 AC 206 at 21, House of Lords (UK).