Sovereign State –

adj. (17c)

1. (Of a state) characteristic of or endowed with supreme authority <sovereign nation> <sovereign immunity>.

n. (13c)

l. A person, body, or state vested with independent and supreme authority.

2. The ruler of an independent state. — Also spelled sovran. See sovaad EIGNTY.

sovereign equality:

1. Int’l law. The principle that countries have the right to enjoy territorial integrity and political independence, free from intervention by other countries,.  *  The United Nations “is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” UN Charter art. 2, 5 1.

sovereign immunity. See IMMUNITY (1).

sovereign people:

1. The political body consisting of the collective number of citizens and qualified electors who possess the powers of sovereignty and exercise them through their chosen representatives.

sovereign political power. See POLITICAL POWER.

sovereign power:

1. The power to make and enforce laws.

2. See sovereign political power under POLITICAL POWER.

sovereign right:

1. A unique right possessed by a state or its agencies that enables it to carry out its official functions for the public benefit, as distinguished from certain proprietary rights that it may possess like any other private person.

sovereign state:

l. A state that possesses an independent existence, being complete in itself, without being merely part of a larger whole to whose government it is subject.

2. A political community whose members are bound together by the tie of common subjection to some central authority, whose commands those members must obey. — aka independent state

“nnsovereign state under STATE (1). [1]

“The essence. of statehood is sovereignty, the principle that each nation answers only to its own domestic order and is not accountable to a larger international community, save only to the extent it has consented to do so. Sovereign states are thus conceived as hermetically sealed units; atoms that spin around an international orbit, sometimes colliding, sometimes cooperating, but always separate and apart.” [2]

b part-sovereign state. (1895) A political community in which part of the powers of external sovereignty are exercised by the home government, and part are vested in or controlled by some other political body or bodies. 0 Such a state is not fully independent because by the conditions of its existence it is not allowed full freedom of action in external affairs.

Definition of SOVEREIGNTY:
“Supreme dominion, authority, or rule.”

“The principle of legal sovereignty is an abstraction
from a number of relevant rules:
1.) without consent, a subject of international law is bound by
applicable rules of universal or general international
customary law & general principles of laaw recognized by
civilized nations.
2.) Additional international obligations may be imposed on
any subject of international law only with its consent.
3.) Unless the territorial jurisdiction of a State is excluded or
limited by rules of international law, its exercise is exclusively
the concern of a State in question.
4.) Subjects of international law may claim potential
jurisdiction over persons or things outside the territorial
jurisdiction. In the absence of permissive rules to the contrary,
however, they may actually exercise such jurisdiction in
concrete instances only within their territories.
5.) Unless authorized by permissive rules to the contrary,
intervention by subjects or international law in another’s
sphere of exclusive domestic jurisdiction constitutes a breach of
international law.”
– George Schwarzenberger, A manual of International Law
65 (5th Ed. 1967)9

“For the practical purposes of an international lawyer, sov

ereignty is not a metaphysical concept, nor is it part of the essence of statehood; it is merely a term which designates

an aggregate of particular and very extensive claims that states habitually make for themselves in their relations with other states. To the extent that sovereignty has come to imply that there is something inherent in the nature of states that makes it impossible for them to be subjected to law, it is a false doctrine which the facts of international relations do not support. But to the extent that it reminds us that the challenge of subjection of states to law is an aim as YGt Only very imperfectly realized, it is a doctrine which we cannot afford to disregard.” Andrew Clapham, Brierly’s Law of Nations: An Introduction to the Role of International

Law in International Relations 46 (7th ed. 2012).

“In origins and evolution, sovereignty is definitely a Western concept, and it was not shared by other regions until the twentieth century. (Certain non-Western parallels do exist, however.) In contemporary discussion, the concept of sovereignty is accepted as an indispensable term in both academic and diplomatic discussions of political life throughout the world. Its importance is confirmed in Marxist, realist, and liberal political discourse, but the range of usage varies widely, reflecting differences in ideology and political priorities. The very centrality of sovereignty ensures its contested character. In each setting, meanings are attributed to sovereignty that accord with the interpreter’s project. There is little neutral ground when it comes to sovereignty.” Richard Falk, “Sovereignty,” in 2 The Oxford Companion to Comparative Politics 398, 398 (Joel Krieger ed., 2013).

> external sovereignty. (18c) The power of dealing on a country’s behalf with other national governments.

> internal sovereignty. (18c) The power enjoyed by a governmental entity of a sovereign state, including affairs within its own territory and powers related to the exercise of external sovereignty.

x \’/_)

popular sovereignty. (17c) A system of government in which policy choices reflect the preferences of the majority of citizens.

“Popular sovereignty, at bottom, is an identification, contrary to fact, of t e government and the peeple. i ow ‘We the people’ do not govern ourselves; we have estab lished a government to do it, and it does it. if the peep e

really governed, it would, of course, be both absurd a d impossible to try to limit governmental action by any law. The notion that our government is the people, therefornaturally leads to the conclusion that the government has no limits. The logic is sotmd, the premise is utterly untrue. This unwarranted belief, necessarily destructive of a l co stitutionalism and of all bills of rights, has been fostered by a strange unhistorical conception of ‘sovereignty.’ We are only able to accept ‘popular’ sovereignty, because of our peculiar notions of what sovereignty itself is. Blind fo lowers of the blind have persuaded us -mostly lawyers who have taken Blackstone literally and uncritically -that sovereignty is might, not right, and that this might could not conceivably be the might of any true sovereign if it had any legal limits whatsoever. These men have hopelessly confused authority with power, and apparently have been entirely oblivious of the fact that their conception of political supremacy, fathered by Hobbes and nurtured by John Austin, is completely subversive of the constitutional system under which we all live and to which they themselves have usually paid the most extravagant lip service.” C.H. Mcilwain, Constitutionalism & the Changing World 291-92 (1939). ‘

b state sovereignty. See STATE SOYEREIGNTY.

2. The supreme political authority of an independent state. 3. The state itself.

“it is well to [distinguish] the senses in which the word Sovereignty is used. In the ordinary popular sense it means Supremacy, the right to demand obedience. Although the idea of actual power is not absent, the prominent idea is that of some sort of title to exercise control. An ordinary layman would call that person (or body of persons) Sovereign in a State who is obeyed because he is acknowledged to stand at the top, whose will must be expected to prevail, who can get his own way, and make others go his, because such is the practice of the country. Etymologically the word of course means merely superiority, and familiar usage applies it in monarchies to the monarch, because he stands first in the State, be his real power great or small.” James

Bryce, Studies in History and Jurisprudence 504-05 (1901). sovereign wealth fund. See FUND.


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: David J. Bederman, International Law Frameworks 50 (2001).


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