Power to define jurisdiction.

77. With respect to any of the matters mentioned in the last two sections334 the Parliament may make laws—

  • (i.) Defining the jurisdiction of any federal court other than the High Court335:
  • (ii.) Defining the extent to which the jurisdiction of any federal court shall be exclusive336 of that which belongs to or is invested in the courts of the States:
  • (iii) Investing any court of a State with federal jurisdiction337.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—In a somewhat different form, the whole of this section (except sub-s. iii.) was substantially contained in the Bill of 1891 (Ch. III. sec. 7), which enumerated the cases in which jurisdiction might be given.

At the Adelaide session, 1897, the clause was cast practically into its present form, except that the introductory limitation was worded “within the limits of the judicial power”—the “judicial power” referred to being defined in a previous clause. (Conv. Deb., Adel., p. 1203. See Historical Note, sec. 76)

At the Melbourne session, on recommittal after the fourth Report, the section was altered by the Drafting Committee to accord with the two preceding sections. (Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 348–9.)

The word “invested,” in sub-s. ii., seems to have been substituted per incuriam in the Imperial Parliament, for “vested,” which was the word in the Draft Bill.

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