sovereignty

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Related to Sovereign territory: Sovereign power, Sovereign right

Sovereignty

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.

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

sovereignty

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:

see SEWEL MOTION.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The idea of an intergovernmental market for sovereign territory is
sovereign territory of South Sudan," Barnaba Benjamin Marial told
That is easy enough to understand when European states essentially would be pocketing taxes for emissions by non-European carriers over the sovereign territory of non-European states".
Approaching it from one final angle, Gush Shalom states that the law causes severe damage to the Freedom of Vocation of commercial companies, freedom of occupation of the companies, since it would blur the difference between products made inside Israel's sovereign territory and those made at settlements in the Occupied Territories.
Moscow claims they became Russian territory as a result of the war, while Japan has continued to demand their return on the basis that the islands have long been Japanese sovereign territory.
Vidyo Inc, a provider of personal telepresence services, yesterday announced that its VidyoConferencing has been deployed by the Vatican City, the sovereign territory of the Holy See.
Jews there are on no one's sovereign territory. Anyone who says Jews can't live there is simply racist.
1841: Hong Kong was proclaimed a British sovereign territory. 1875: The battery-operated dentist's drill was patented in Michigan by George F Green.
Turkish officials are reportedly refusing to allow Israeli police or rescue workers to enter the embassy, which is technically Turkish sovereign territory.
The American and EU impatience to amputate a portion of a UN member state (universally recognized, even by them, to constitute a portion of that state's sovereign territory), ostensibly because 90 percent of those living in that portion of the state's territory supported separation, contrasts starkly with the unlimited patience of the US and the EU when it comes to ending the 43-year-long belligerent occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (no portion of which any country recognizes as Israel's sovereign territory and as to which Israel has only even asserted sovereignty over a tiny portion, occupied East Jerusalem).
Indeed, in the case of Kosovo, the Albanian population sees itself as being ethnically part of the Albanian people living within the sovereign territory of Albania.
As for Syria, Olmert said both sides would have to pay a price, with Israel giving up the Golan Heights--which Israel actually annexed and made sovereign territory many years ago--and Syria ending its current ties to Iran and halting support for Hamas, Al-Qaeda and anti-regime groups in Iraq.