meaning of sovereignty
The word sovereignty is “soverenti”, which is derived from the Latin words ‘super’ and ‘anus’, meaning supreme power.
The first systematic presentation of the idea of sovereignty was done by the famous scholar Jean Boda in his treatise ‘Republic’ in the 16th century. Although the concept of sovereignty is reflected in the ancient Indian and Greek political literature, yet, in the words of Sabine, “the principle of sovereignty is Bod’s greatest contribution”.
Sovereignty has been defined by various scholars as follows:
1. In the words of Jean Bodun, “The supreme power of the state over the sovereign citizen and the subjects is that which is not controlled by law.”
2. In the words of Burgess, “Sovereignty is the fundamental, absolute and limitless power of the state over every subject and all his communities.”
3. In the words of Woodrow Wilson, “Sovereignty is the power which, in action every day, makes and enforces laws.”
4. Austin has explained sovereignty that “If the majority of a society simply obeys the orders of a certain headman, that definite headman does not ordinarily obey any other chief, then that society In that certain person is the sovereign and that society (including that head) is the free state.”
5. In the words of Grosius, “Sovereignty is the supreme political power vested in a person whose actions are not dependent on others and whose will cannot be violated.”
6. In the words of DV, “Sovereignty is the power of the state to command. It is the will of the nation organized as a state. It has the right to give unconditional orders to all persons within the limits of the state.”
Defining sovereignty, Sir Frederick Pollock has said that “Sovereignty is that power which is neither temporary nor subject to any rules which it cannot change by itself.”
Characteristics or Characteristics of Sovereignty
From the above definitions of sovereignty, its following characteristics or characteristics are clear –
(1) Autocracy – The sovereignty of the state is autocratic and limitless. in legal terms. There is no restriction on it. Austin states that “the sovereign is in a position to get orders from all others but is not used to obeying anyone’s orders.” But according to many thinkers, sovereignty is not completely absolute. Landshali states that “the sovereignty of the state in the external sphere is limited by the authority of other states and in the internal sphere by its nature and the rights of the citizens”. The thinkers have criticized the sovereignty on the following grounds
(1) Traditions, the principles of religion and morality underlie the sovereignty of the state.
(ii) The laws should have direct or indirect public approval. In the absence of this, the people can protest against the sovereign.
(iii) The thinkers are of the opinion that international law also limits the sovereign power of the state.
But it is true that the said restriction is imposed by the state on its own volition, there is no legal restriction on it. Garner states that “the said restrictions are only so and to the extent that the state accepts and exercises them.”
(2) Stability – Sovereignty is as permanent as the state itself. The end of sovereignty means the end of the kingdom. But the death or resignation of any ruler does not affect the sovereignty. That’s why it is said in Britain that “the king died, the revenue remained immortal.” Pro. Garner has clarified it this way. “Sovereignty does not end with the death or the permanent deprivation of a particular carrier. It is immediately changed in the hands of a new one. Just as attraction at the time of external change of the physical body.” The center of the body changes from one organ to another.
(3) Indivisibility or Unity – Sovereignty cannot be divided. No state can have two sovereigns.
Callaghan has said that “Sovereignty is an absolute thing. To divide it is to destroy it. It is the supreme power of the state. Just as we cannot conceive of a half-square or a half-triangle, so we cannot conceive of a semi-supreme.
Gatil has rightly said that “Divided sovereignty is an antithesis.”
But many thinkers consider the sovereignty to be divided in the federal government. Lowell said that “two sovereigns in the same state may command the same subjects but in different matters.”
Madison has said that “In a Union-State, there is a division of sovereignty between the Center on the one hand and the States on the other.”
But that criticism is not correct. Meaning of division of administrative powers. There can never be division. In federal government, sovereignty is neither vested in the center nor in the states, it is concentrated in the constitution.
(4) Omnipresence – This means that all the individuals within the state and all reside in the subjection of the state. Yes, there are exceptions to that because of international etiquette; For example, foreign embassies, foreign services passing through a state, trade representatives etc.
(5) Indifference – The king cannot give sovereignty to anyone else without destroying himself. According to Garner, “Abandoning sovereignty is tantamount to suicide.” Lever also says, “Just as a person cannot separate his life or the tree from its fruitfulness without suicide, so also sovereignty cannot be separated from the state.”
(6) Originality – The sovereign has power from himself. He has not received it from anyone. Where there is a state, there will naturally be sovereignty.
(7) Durability – This means that if the sovereign does not exercise his authority for some time, then it does not destroy his sovereignty.
(8) Exclusivity – This means that there is only one sovereignty in a state. So there is only one sovereign. There can be no rival to this sovereign in the state. If this happens, there will be a state within the state and thus the unity of the state will be destroyed.