Explain the meaning, characteristics and types of sovereignty.
Sovereignty the term has been derived from the latin word ‘superanus’ which means ‘supreme’ or ‘prramount’. Roman jurist nad the civilians during the middle ages employed the term ‘summa potestas’ and ‘plenitude potestas’ to designate the supreme power of the state. In political science the use of the term ‘sovereignty’ dates back to the publication of Bodin’s ‘The Republic’ in 1576.¡
The stability of a nation depends on the supremacy of the sovereignty the nation enjoys. Sovereignty as a concept represents the legal supremacy of the state. Constitution lays down rules and laws of the state and the constitution of the state is just the representation of the soverignty. The word sovereign in the preamble of the constitution of India means that the state has the power to legislate on any subjects in conformity with the constitutional limitations.
Characteristics of Sovereignty
The chief characteristics of the sovereignty is permanence. Sovereignty lasts as long as the state lasts. The death of the king or overthrow of the government does not affect sovereignty. Hence, the people of England say ‘King is dead’, long live the king’.
Exclusiveness here implies that there cannot be two sovereign in one independent state and if it exists the unity of the state will be destroyed.
- All Comprehensivness:
Every individual and every association of the individual is subject to the sovereignty of the state. However rich or powerful association or group may be, it cannot resist or disobey the sovereign authority
Sovereignty is the life and soul of the state and it cannot be alienated without destroying the state itself.
- Unity and Everlasting:
The spirit of sovereignty lies in its unity. Sovereignty is not bound by time and lasts until the sttae lasts.
Indivisibility is the life line of sovereignty.
Sovereignty is unconditional and unlimited. Sovereignty is beyond obedience and it is entitled to do whatever it likes.
Sovereignty wields power by virtue of its own right and not be anybody’s mercy.
Two aspects of Sovereignty
- Internal sovereignty:
This sovereignty exercise its absolute authority over all individuals or associations of the individuals in the state.
- External sovereignty
In simple terms external sovereignty means National Freedom. Every state enjoys absolute liberty to determine its foreign policy and join any power block it likes. External sovereignty implies that every state is independent of other states
Types of Sovereignty
- Real or Nominal Sovereignty:
In ancient times many states had monarchs. Kings exercised real sovereignty and were considered real sovereign. The french revolution transformed the situation. The council of Ministers were considered the Real Sovereign while the king enjoyed only nominal power.
- Legal sovereignty
The authority of the state has the legal power to issue final commands. The power which has the legal authority to issue and enforce these law is legal sovereignty. The legal sovereign is always definite and determinate and the authority of sovereign is absolute and supreme.
- Political sovereignty
Political sovereign in the representative democracy is understood as the whole mass of the people i.e., electorate of the public opinion. Political sovereignty rests in that class of people under whose influence the mass of the people are with.
- Popular sovereignty
Popular sovereignty designates public as supreme. During ancient period popular sovereignty was used as a weapon to challenge the absolutism of the monarchs.
- De-facto sovereignty
De-facto sovereign is one who has no legal claim to sovereignty but possesses it in fact and exercise necessary force to make and enforce its laws.
- De-jure sovereignty
De-jure sovereign is one who has a legal claim to sovereignty but does not possess it in fact.