(redirected from Sovereign right)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
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.

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 ?
Kerry affirmed that "by its own terms, this treaty applies only to international trade, and reaffirms the sovereign right of any State to regulate arms within its territory.
He then reiterated the UK support of the Republic of Cyprus' sovereign right to exploit natural resources in its EEZ, and repeated that the UK government "want to see exploration go ahead.
Abou Zaid warned against any attempt to harm or affect Egypt's sovereign rights in the Eastern Mediterranean region, saying it will be confronted.
In a joint statement which was read in the meeting, the four countries confirmed that all measures taken do conform with the international systems which legally give the member countries room to move against any country who dares to harm their security and stability, a sovereign right conforming with Article 21 of the General Agreement of trade in goods.
He said Pakistan's security was so important and we have to maintain as our fundamental sovereign right.
At his weekly news briefing here on Friday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria pointed out that border between the two countries is clearly demarcated and Pakistani teams were conducting the census drive in its own area which is our sovereign right.
that "ignores Malaysia's sovereign right to decide on its internal affairs.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Bahrain has the full sovereign right to take any measures it deems suitable to prevent foreign connections to present false and distorting information about Bahrain.
They proclaim that the sovereign right to be free from international intervention in domestic affairs permits them unfettered discretion within their territory.
He made it clear at the same time that Cyprus has the sovereign right to enter into bilateral agreements.
There is no room to bargain on (our) sovereign right but once it comes to discussions, everybody is free to pose any questions they wish," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear energy agency, told reporters on the sidelines of the U.
Russia has always supported a country's sovereign right to recognise or not recognise a state's independence.