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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.

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 ?
In this paper, I argue that the domestic implications of discriminatory immigration policies are far-reaching and undermine, rather than support, the state sovereignty view.
The Supreme Court's Consideration of State Sovereignty II.
The case studies above primarily reveal two aspects of the current global order: (1) that it continues to rest on assumptions of the theory of ultimate state sovereignty, and (2) that these same assumptions are simultaneously undermined by the presence and the power diffusion of elements of sovereignty by multinational/international actors and organizations, as well as by NSAs, each at the local, national, and global levels.
"Our governors should join together in rejecting the striking down of state sovereignty," Bell said in the announcement, "and should form a coalition standing between an overreaching federal government and the citizens of the separate states."
It will therefore be correct to conclude that what maintains the world peace up to date since the Second World War ended sixty nine years ago is the respect of state sovereignty. The state sovereignty is a uniting factor among the states and I can take an analogy with Religion and God.
The argument of cultural relativism is used sometimes together with arguments based on the idea of state sovereignty. From the Westphalia peace treaty in seventeenth century, the state sovereignty was seen as the paramount of international public law.
"The development of the Chinese armed forces poses no threat to any nation, in that it aims to safeguard state sovereignty, security and development interests," said Senior Colonel Wu Xihua, vice director of the Emergency Response Office of the General Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army.
This concept was first presented in the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) in December 2001.
A government representative earlier claimed the court cannot look into the case because it went against state sovereignty.
This requires surrender of state sovereignty, and resistance is already rising.
They talk and write about state sovereignty, and they quote our Founding Fathers as authority, but please read those quotes carefully and in context.
"The Egyptian and Iranian people deserve relations which reflect their history and civilization, provided they are based on mutual respect of state sovereignty and non-interference of any kind in internal affairs," Elaraby said.

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