Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Primary jurisdiction doctrine is a judicial doctrine whereby a court tends to favor allowing an agency an initial opportunity to decide an issue in a case in which the court and the agency have concurrent jurisdiction.

It is the principle that the courts can not or will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal, prior to the decision of that question by the administrative tribunal:

1) where the case demands the exercise of administrative discretion, requiring the special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal, to determine technical and intricate matters of fact; and

2) where uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the purposes of the regulatory statute administered.