United Kingdom Encyclopedia of Law     Wiki Legal Encyclopedia (BETA)
What do you need to know about law? Search in more than 1.500.000 entries

Sovereignty in United Kingdom

Meaning of Sovereignty

The following is an old definition of Sovereignty [1]: The public authority which orders and directs vvhat is to be done by each member of a political community in relation to the purposes of the association. The supreme power which governs the body politic or society that constitutes the state. The exercise of, or right to exercise, supreme power, dominion, or sway; as applied to a State, the right to exercise supreme power, dominion, or authority. In international law, the uncontrolled exclusive exercise of the powers of a state, see, in this resource, the term; that is, both of the power of entering into relations with other states, and of the power of governing its own subjects. All legislative powers appertain to sovereignty. The original power of giving the law, on any subject whatever, is a sovereign power. In America, the powers of sovereignty are divided between the government of the Union, and those of the States. Each is sovereign with respect to the subjects committed to it? Sovereignty and legislature are convertible terms: one cannot subsist without the other. Legislature is the greatest act of superiority that can be exercised by one being over another. . . Wherever the power of making laws resides, all other powers must conform to and be directed by it. . In a democracy there can be no exercise of sovereignty but by suffrage, which is the declaration of the people’s will. In England, where the people do not debate in a collective body, but by representation, the exercise of sovereignty consists in the choice of representatives. The sovereign or supreme power in every state resides in the people. Blackstone supposes the jura summi imperii, or the right of sovereignty, to reside in those hands in which the exercise of the power of making laws is placed. Our simple and more reasonable idea is that the government is a mere agency established by the people for the exercise of those powers which reside in them. The powers of government are not, in strictness, granted, but delegated powers. They are then trust powers, and may be re- voked. It results that no portion of sovereignty resides in government. See further Government; Kins; State, 3; Suit, 3; Theason.


Notes and References

  1. Concept of Sovereignty provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

Law is our Passion

This entry about Sovereignty has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) licence, which permits unrestricted use and reproduction, provided the author or authors of the Sovereignty entry and the Encyclopedia of Law are in each case credited as the source of the Sovereignty entry. Please note this CC BY licence applies to some textual content of Sovereignty, and that some images and other textual or non-textual elements may be covered by special copyright arrangements. For guidance on citing Sovereignty (giving attribution as required by the CC BY licence), please see below our recommendation of "Cite this Entry".

Cite this entry

Legal Citations Generator

(2017, 05). Sovereignty lawi.org.uk Retrieved 06, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/sovereignty/

05 2017. 06 2021 <https://lawi.org.uk/sovereignty/>

"Sovereignty" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 05 2017. Web. 06 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/sovereignty/>

"Sovereignty" lawi.org.uk. 05, 2017. Accesed 06 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/sovereignty/

J. G. Collier, 'Sovereignty' (lawi.org.uk 2017) <https://lawi.org.uk/sovereignty/> accesed 2021 June 12

Usage Metrics

463 Views. 352 Visitors.

Google Scholar: Search for Sovereignty Related Content


Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Sovereignty
  • Author: J. G. Collier
  • Description: Meaning of Sovereignty The following is an old definition of Sovereignty [1]: The public authority which orders and directs [...]

This entry was last updated: November 4, 2020


Recent Comments