authority to consider and decide cases in the first instance, as distinguished from
APPELLATE JURISDICTION (see jurisdiction), which is the authority to
review a decision or judgment of an inferior tribunal.
EXAMPLE: The Constitution of the United States provides that the
Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors.
Notwithstanding any issue of diplomatic immunity, if an ambassador from France were sued, the Supreme Court, rather than some lower
court, would hear the case.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016