How Is Jurisdiction Defined

We have previously discussed Courts and court process as well as their jurisdictions in previous articles, but what has not been properly discussed is how jurisdiction works in South Africa and which court may have jurisdiction;



The Courts have jurisdiction defined by monetary values as well as geographic jurisdiction and some special courts have certain jurisdiction to only hear certain types of matters;

The way jurisdiction works is explained below.




If the monetary jurisdiction of a specific type of court has been established, the next step is to establish which physical court is in the correct geographical jurisdiction for a specific matter.


Jurisdiction in civil matter either follows the defendant or the action. What this means is that the court with jurisdiction must either be the court in which the cause of action of a matter arose in, or the court which has geographical jurisdiction over the area in which the Defendant of the matter resides or works.


For other juristic persons such as companies, jurisdiction can also be founded upon the registered place of business of the company.


Sometimes based on this, multiple courts may have jurisdiction and either of the courts with jurisdiction may hear a matter.


In matters involving children, the court with jurisdiction is the court where the child is ordinarily resident.




Jurisdiction can become complicated and as a result, when instituting any action in a court, it is always recommended to seek the assistance of an attorney. If you are thinking of going to court and are uncertain where to begin, feel free to contact us for assistance in the legal process.