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One of the essential attributes of a state under International Law is external sovereignty—that is, the right to exercise freely the full range of power a state possesses under international law. Recognition of a state as independent necessarily implies that the recognizing states have no legal authority over the independent state. The status of a fully independent state should be contrasted with that of dependent or vassal states, where a superior state has the legal authority to impose its will over the subject, or inferior, state.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

INDEPENDENCE. A state of perfect irresponsibility to any superior; the United States are free and independent of all earthly power.
     2. Independence may be divided into political and natural independence. By the former is to be understood that we have contracted no tie except those which flow from the three great natural rights of safety, liberty and property. The latter consists in the power of being able to enjoy a permanent well-being, whatever may be the disposition of those from whom we call ourselves independent. In that sense a nation may be independent with regard to most people, but not independent of the whole world. Vide on of Independence.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The post Our View: Are independent state officials unaccountable?
He noted that todays vote does not mean an official Greek recognition of Palestine as an independent state, but rather a recommendation to be referred to the Greek government for arbitration.
The Ministry called on all states to take the same steps regarding the recognition of Palestine as an independent state, in order to achieve the aspirations of the Palestinian people and enhance security, stability and peace in the Middle East.
In a question about the Kurdish question, he said the Kurdish question has been a significant subject since the 18th and 19th century, adding "The issue of an independent state changed to autonomous rule under the impact of rapid changes in the world and it became part of strategy of the Kurdish political parties in Kurdistan since that time." However, the Kurdish question has not been discussed as necessary as possible since the uprising of the end of the last century in Iraq.
A ministry statement said Turkey had recognized Southern Sudan as an independent state, and therefore it would exert efforts to enchance cooperation with this country and its people within the framework of friendship and brotherhood.
Machar said the Government of Southern Sudan would continue to provide an enabling environment, which will attract investors in all sectors of development, in order to speedily meet the people's expectations in the new independent state. The oil producing region is lacking in almost every sector of development, but has promising riches in natural resources and arable land.
Summary: Rabat - Morocco and Egypt reiterated their support for the brotherly Palestinian people in their just cause and their right to establish an independent state with Al-Quds as its capital.
QUITO -- PNN -- The Ecuadorian government official formally recognized Palestine as an independent state on Friday, and became the fifth country to do so following the footsteps of its neighbors Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay earlier this month.
Ecuador's Foreign Ministry announced that President Rafael Correa signed "the Ecuadorian government''s official recognition of Palestine as a free and independent state with 1967 borders."
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the Palestinians deserve a "viable" independent state with contiguous territory and that the United States is committed to brokering a final peace deal between them and Israel.
Austria's President Heinz Fischer empowered, on 27 February, the country's Foreign Ministry to take all steps necessary for recognising the newly independent state of Kosovo.

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