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


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.


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:


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 ?
American distaste or even the size of the loans is less significant than the implicit seal of approval granted to Iran as a creditworthy soverign borrower in the eyes of the international lending community.
Use of the terms 'foreign insurer' and 'alien insurer' in state insurance laws, for example, connotes the soverign character of states in relation to one another and the federal government.
500 for Pongal festival; 10 lakh houses promised through various housing schemes; One soverign gold for women ahead of marriages; free cell phones for all ration card holders; State govt.
After ECB vice president Vitor Constancio said that the bank may decide in the first quarter of next year whether to purchase soverign bonds, euro zone government bonds and shares gained.
Aside from the famous tourist spots such as Soverign Hill and the Cricket Ground, Melbourne is the venue of this year's Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena.
Asked whether soverign wealth funds (SWFs) like Adia would allocate some percentage of their funds for the UAE and Qatari markets, he said he does not believe that there will be a change in strategy from the likes of Adia etc, as they have a diversification remit, but foreign SWFs are likely to take an interest.
Pakistan repaid the seventh installment of $394 million to International Monetary Fund today that would certainly help maintaining soverign credit rating on the international front, however, the pressure on the depleting foreign exchange reserves was quite visible.
The Constitution is crowned with an extraordinarily strong and meaningful Preamble which reflects the pledge contained in the Objectives Resolution of 1946 to guarantee basic human rights to the people of India: "WE,THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVERIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION."
GOOD THING OBLIGES Those in the know suggested that Tangies Soverign was a good thing in the Sunderlands Bookmakers Shetland Derby at Epsom on family fun day and so it proved to be as the multiple winner of the race obliged again under 11-year-old Lewis Kent.
courts view these statements from the foreign soverign as confirmation that an important foreign national interest exists apart from a general dislike of U.S.
Burke Memorial Fund, c/o Soverign Bank, 126 Prospect St., Milford, MA 01517 would be appreciated.