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The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.

Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, and applying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations.

The individual states of the United States do not possess the powers of external sovereignty, such as the right to deport undesirable persons, but each does have certain attributes of internal sovereignty, such as the power to regulate the acquisition and transfer of property within its borders. The sovereignty of a state is determined with reference to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

See: authority, bureaucracy, capacity, dominance, dominion, hierarchy, home rule, influence, jurisdiction, polity, predominance, primacy, regime, supremacy


in UK constitutional law, the doctrine that the monarch in Parliament is competent to make or unmake any law whatsoever and cannot be challenged in any court. The doctrine developed historically, its first major enunciation being in the BILL OF RIGHTS. Possible limitations are:
  1. (i) the ACTS OF UNION;
  2. (ii) the inability of Parliament to bind its successors;
  3. (iii) territorial competence, being a practical limitation rather than a legal one.

By far the most significant restraint is found in the law of the EUROPEAN UNION, which asserts its supremacy in the ever-expanding matters subject to the Treaties. Enforcement of an Act of Parliament has been enjoined on the basis of conflict with European law. The creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament has brought about a conventional restraint of Parliament exercising its powers on matters within the devolved powers:


SOVEREIGNTY. The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state; it is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything in a state without accountability; to make laws, to execute and to apply them: to impose and collect taxes, and, levy, contributions; to make war or peace; to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like. Story on the Const. Sec. 207.
     2. Abstractedly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and belongs to the people. But these powers are generally exercised by delegation.
     3. When analysed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers; namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is the power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts; to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.
     4. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government, the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; (q.v.) and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of its public functionaries, is in the people of the state. (q.v.) 2 Dall. 471; and vide, generally, 2 Dall. 433, 455; 3 Dall. 93; 1 Story, Const. Sec. 208; 1 Toull. n. 20 Merl. Repert. h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
Why doesn't he say "Iran can determine for itself - it's a sovereign nation - what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Israel and anyone else?
The Sultanate of Brunei finally decided to stand on its own as a sovereign nation in 1984 since becoming a British protectorate nearly a century ago.
Michael Fenton, who also partners Vodafone Oaks entry School Days in the ten-furlong Bet Direct-sponsored maiden fillies' race, renews his partnership with Sovereign Nation, who won on the Polytrack last month.
Investigators believe that some of the money collected was lost in bad investments in Liberian diamond mines or spent on acquiring a Caribbean island then arming it in the hope of declaring it a sovereign nation.
Small as we are, we are a sovereign nation and we're not going to permit some official sitting in Washington or Paris or London to tell us how we'll provide economic opportunities for our people.
By chance I began reviewing this novel just after a United Nations human rights commission had declared that Ontario's separate school system is discriminatory, and, knowing nothing of the historical and other reasons for the existence of this system; ordered our supposedly sovereign nation to end the discrimination; and just at the time when elections in the spirit of the UN Charter of Rights for Children were being held in Canadian schools--what Ian Hunter calls an "exercise in liberal touchy-feelyism" designed "to diminish parental control and replace it with state control.
The Serbs were right to protest that NATO attempts to force a settlement before the bombing were illegitimate interference in a sovereign nation.
The statement also said the air raids by the United States, Britain, France and Germany are an attempt to encroach upon ''the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a sovereign nation by force.
Convincing a sovereign nation to alter destructive policies that impair its own performance and threaten contagion to its neighbors is best handled by an international financial institution, such as the IMF.
Once it occupied the moral high ground, but it now sits diplomatically isolated, an American client state, economically bankrupt, as immoral as any other sovereign nation.
Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital,' Trump said.

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