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Related to Sovereign right: sovereignty, Sovereign power


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.


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 ?
" Under UNCLOS, having sovereign rights over a particular area does not confer sovereignty, thus not tantamount to being a sovereign territory.
Luderitz, though, fraudulently edited the contracts and aggrandized his claims in Europe, to the point that the contracts became 'treaties' and the sale of land became the sale of Frederiks' 'sovereign rights ' over a portion of a 'kingdom'.
(25) Whoever has the power to control the population, territory, and borders has the right to claim sovereignty and sovereign rights.
Consequently, as will be seen in Part Two of this article, the majority of the High Court in Yarmirr drew a distinction between the Crown's radical title to land and the Crown's 'sovereign rights and interests' to the territorial sea.
For Native Americans, a federally imposed concept of blood quantum was instead designed to deconstruct Indian identity as the gene pools presumably would become mixed, gradually legislating away indigenous claims to land and sovereign rights. The sooner someone could no longer legally be recognized as Indian, the sooner white settlers and government agencies could move in for the (literal or figurative) kill.
He said airspace will remain a sovereign right and that the region's aviation authorities are working "towards a commonality of flight plans [and airspace] permissions."
"We expect Turkey to respect Cyprus's sovereign rights over its Exclusive Economic Zone; to show restraint; and to avoid any more statements or actions that could cause more friction.
Bush with a test of wills: Will he exercise his sovereign right as president to protect the jobs and survival of the entire American steel industry, or will he knuckle under to the threat of economic blackmail being leveled by the European Union?"
'The Philippines has the exclusive sovereign right to exploit all the fish, oil, gas and other mineral resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Using his right to respond to any attack against his country, the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva Faisal bin Hasan Trad said today that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will never accept any party's poking his nose into its domestic affairs and absolutely rejects any party to have the audacity to tamper its sovereign right, including the impartiality of its judiciary.
BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (KUNA) - The European Parliament Thursday adopted a resolution that condemned Turkey's "maritime survey" activities as encroaching upon Cyprus' exclusive economic zone and its sovereign right to explore the natural resources within it.