The concept of sovereignty is permanently associated with the nation state system. It is the central formula under that we try to nationalize the complicated facts of our modern political life. Sovereignty is an English word derived from Latin world “super anus” that means ‘superior’ or the ‘super most’. Sovereignty has been defined as.
It was the French jurist who used both the terms “sovereign” and “sovereignty” in fifteen century and after that used in English as well. For the first time the word “sovereignty” used in political science in the publication of Jean Bodin (1530–1596) “The Republic” in 1975.
Aspects of Sovereignty
There are two aspects of Sovereignty. i.e. Internal Sovereignty and External Sovereignty.
Internal sovereignty means the supreme and final power to command all powers with in the territory of state. Its will is absolute over all persons and associations. It issues order to all individual, and organizations with in the area of state and receives order form all these persons and organizations. In this regard Prof. Laski says, “What is proposes is right by the mere announcement of Intention.”
External aspect of Sovereignty implies that outside the state there is no legal power that can compel the state to take a certain course of policy and action, in other words, the state is quite independent externally, that is, under no legal foreign power or pressure. External sovereignty means that externally state is free and independent and its will or authority cannot be question abroad. It means that state is free from any control, compulsion and interference by a foreign state or power. In other words, it means that the will of the state is supreme against others will of foreign state. Foreign treaties and international law do, not limit the supremacy or external. Sovereignty of nation state system. External Sovereignty does not mean that the state has the power or control over other power or states, but it means that it is not subject to the command of other foreign states.
Sovereignty is the goal of politics, the general idea of political science, the heart of political philosophy and the soul and the distinctive feature of the state. It is the sovereignty that makes the state ‘Supreme’ of all the four elements of state i.e. population, territory, Sovereignty, and government. Sovereignty is the most. important and occupies a unique place.
“Sovereignty is supreme power over citizens and subject understand by law.” (Jean Bodin)
“The power whose acts may not be made void by the acts of any other human will or it was manifested when a state, in dealing with its internal affairs remained free from the control of all other states.” (Hugo Grotius)
“Sovereignty is the Supreme will of the state.” (Willoughbuy).
“Sovereignty is supreme authority, an authority that is independent of any other earthly authority.” (Openheim).
“ln its original and only specific meaning Sovereignty means supreme authority” (While Kelsen)
“The super most, original, eternal and absolute power of the state on its citizens.” (Brugess).
“Sovereignty is an absolute, infallible, indivisible and in-alienable. power.” (J.J. Rousseau).
“Top or Supreme authority of a state.” OR “-Sovereignty is freedom from outside interference and the right of selfgovernment.” OR “Sovereignty is the supreme authority especially over a state.” (Encarta Encyclopedia).
“Sovereignty means the right to own and control some area of the world.” (Dictionary of Politics).
“Sovereignty is the complete and independent political power that a country has to govern itself” (Chambers Essential Dictionary). “Sovereignty is the super most power free of external pressure.”
Attributes and Characteristics of Sovereignty
The following are the main Attributes and characteristics of sovereignty:
It implies that inside and outside the state there is no legal power superior to it. Some modern thinkers and jurists are of the opinion that international law is superior to it, others hold that international law is not even law, for it does not issue from a Sovereign power.
The Sovereign power is superior to all other powers in a state. Sovereignty is the super most and unlimited power that is not subject to any type of direction. All state citizens and institutions are superordinate to it and it is origin of all powers free of any internal external powers or pressures.
Government may come and go frequently, but state is there as ever, till it dismembers or is conquered by another one. This implies that the state is permanent and therefore Sovereignty, and essential element of the state, is also permanent, at least as much as the state.
This characteristic of sovereignty implies that no person, group. class, organization or association with in the state is beyond the sovereign authority but all are under its control and authority. The universality of the sovereignty also implies that the Sovereign of the state can legislate for every matter of individual and public life. So, state sovereign powers are equally valid and enforceable in the nuke and corner of a state. All state institutions, individuals and units are under the state Sovereign powers.
What life is to a living-being sovereignty is to state. As a man cannot alienate or part with his life except at the cost of his destruction, so the state cannot alienate its. sovereignty except at the cost of its destruction. Even if a state, willingly leaves a certain portion of territory to another state, it does not, affect its sovereignty. For example, the conversion of the East Pakistan into Bangladesh has not affected the sovereignty of Pakistan, as a state. Sovereignty cannot be transferred or permanently delegated to any person or institution. As human life, cannot be transferred to any other, in the same way, sovereignty cannot be transferred but upon demise of a state.
Another feature of sovereignty is that it is indivisible. As Sovereignty is inalienable., so, it is indivisible too. Power may be delegated to various agencies. organs or units but not sovereignty. As human body, cannot be divided and its division is its death, equally division of sovereignty is its death Sovereignty is an integral body and its division is impossible.
Sovereignty is the unique feature of a state and that is sovereignty that makes a state sacred and above all other human institutions. State is the super most institution of human being and apex point of human civilization. In the state, no any individual or institution ha\1 sovereign powers but the state itself only. So, it is the unique feature that gives distinctive and superior status to state. It is the unique power in the hands of state.
State sovereignty is impossible to be removed or violated. If a stat ignores to exercise its Sovereignty in a particular territory for a specific period, one should not imagine that state sovereign authority has abolished. It is an evergreen feature of the state. Its existence is not dependent on its use. Ownership of property of a person finishes, when it is not utilized for a long time. This is called ‘prescription’ its sovereignty is not used for a long time, which still remains the compulsory part of a state. This is the cause why its feature is imprescriptibly.
Should Sovereignty be Discarded
After discussing its definitions, aspects, types and features now question arises that whether sovereignty should be retained or abandoned? Sovereignty means supreme authority yet is must be limited. It is absolute and indivisible, yet is must be qualified and divided. It is incompatible with international law, yet is must be reconciled with it. It is historically associated with monarchy, yet it still is regarded as an essential feature of a nation-state. It is rigid and inflexible, yet is must be applied to an evolving pattern of inter-state relations. A group of political theorists have reached the conclusion that the sovereignty should be retained; while another group contended that the doctrine of sovereignty should be abandoned. But the wisest and the simplest solution would be the banish of offending term. Yet sovereignty should be retained as an essential feature of nation-state system, in spite of its vagueness and variety of definitions. Thus, we can say that the notion of sovereignty is indispensable to the study of international relations.
Sovereignty is the only device in the hands of the government to Maintain its mastery on internal as well as external attacks or interference and also through sovereignty it has the option to make alliances, treaties and agreements with foreign states in order to protest its own interests. Sovereignty is the super most power of the state and it is indivisible and evergreen