Definition of sovereign
sovereign (comparative more sovereign, superlative most sovereign)
- Exercising power of rule.
- Exceptional in quality.
- Having supreme, ultimate power.
sovereign (plural sovereigns)
- A monarch; the ruler of a country.
- One who is not a subject to a ruler or nation.
- A gold coin minted by the United Kingdom.
- A very large champagne bottle with the capacity of about 25 liters, equivalent to 33⅓ standard bottles.
- half sovereign/half-sovereign
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided. The concept has been discussed, debated and questioned throughout history, from the time of the Romans through to the present day, although it has changed in its definition, concept, and application throughout, especially during the Age of Enlightenment. The current notion of state sovereignty were laid down in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which, in relation to states, codified the basic principles of territorial integrity, border inviolability, and supremacy of the state (rather than the Church). A sovereign is a supreme lawmaking authority.
Relation to rule of law
Another topic is whether the law is held to be sovereign, that is, whether it is above political or other interference. Sovereign law constitutes a true state of law, meaning the letter of the law (if constitutionally correct) is applicable and enforceable, even when against the political will of the nation, as long as not formally changed following the constitutional procedure. Strictly speaking, any deviation from this principle constitutes a revolution or a coup d'état, regardless of the intentions.
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