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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Sovereignty

Meaning of 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, Const. §207. Abstractly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation, and belongs to the people; but these powers are generally exercised by delegation. When analyzed, 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. Strictly speaking, in our republican forms of government the absolute sovereignty of the nation is in the people of the nation; and the residuary sovereignty of each state, not granted to any of ite public functionaries, is in the people of the state. 2 Dall. (U. S.) 471. And see, generally, 2 Dall. (U. S.) 483, 455; 3 Dall. (U. S.) 93; 1 Story, Const. §208; 1 Toullier. Dr. Civ. note 20; Merlin, Repert.


You might be interested in these references tools:

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Sovereignty in the Dictionary Sovereignty in our legal dictionaries
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Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
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Related topics Sovereignty in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Sovereignty is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)

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Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies
https://legaldictionary.lawin.org/sovereignty/ The URI of Sovereignty (more about URIs)

Sovereignty in the International Legal Encyclopedia

International treaties and conventions are, or should be, based on the presumption… (Read more)

Sovereignty in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of sovereignty.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

The legal equality of a state with other states and the freedom from higher authority.

The legal equality of a state with other states and the freedom from higher authority.

Notion of Sovereignty

The meaning of Sovereignty may be as follows: means a government has the right, at least in principle, to do whatever it liks in its own territory (also see state)


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