Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Sovereign Definition:

Has two meanings. The first one is a technical word for the monarch (king or queen) of a particular country as in the Sovereign of England is Queen Elizabeth. The other meaning of the word is to describe the supreme legislative powers of a state: that they are totally independent and free from any outside political control or authority over their decisions.

Related Terms: Sovereignty, Crown, State

The people of Quebec, for example, have, at times, supported governments which have proposed that Quebec become a sovereign state; that all legislative authority of the government of Canada over their territory cease and that the government of Quebec be enabled to regulate in any matter at all; and that the government of Quebec represent itself internationally.

Woodrow Wilson in his 1898 book The State" describes a sovereign as

"... a determinate person, or body of persons to whom the bulk of the members of an organized community are in the habit of rendering obedience and who are themselves not in the habit of rendering obedience to any human superior."

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