This supreme authority is absolute over all individuals or associations of individuals within the State. It issues orders to all men and all associations within that area but it receives orders from none of them. It will is absolute and it is subject to no legal limitation. “What it proposes is right by the mere announcement of intention.”
By external sovereignty we mean that the State is subject to no other authority and, consequently, is independent of any compulsion or interference on the part of other States. If its authority is subject to the provisions of any treaty, or if it is limited by the rules of international law, the sovereign status of the State is not destroyed in any way.
These are auto-limitations and are obeyed at the will of the State. There is no other authority which can coerce it into obedience. Each State is independent of other States. It will is its own, unaffected by the will of any external power.
It follows that the sovereignty of the State is unlimited internally as well as externally.
It is original and absolute power and it cannot be divided. Division of sovereignty means destruction of sovereignty. Sovereignty represents the unity of the State, and the sovereign State is one which is externally free and internally supreme. The authority exercised by various organs of the State, that is, government, is delegated.
Gettell has aptly said: “If Sovereignty is not absolute, no State exists, if sovereignty is divided, more than one State exist. There can be no legal power at the back of the sovereignty of the State and no legal check on its scope.”
Definitions of Sovereignty:
Definitions of sovereignty, like definitions of the State, are many and varied. Bodin defined it as the “supreme power over citizens and subjects, unrestrained by law.” Hugo Grotius defined it as “the supreme political power vested in him whose acts are not subject to any other and whose will cannot be overridden.”
Duguit says that sovereignty is the “commanding power of the State; it is the will of the nation organised in the State; it is the right to give unconditional orders to all individuals in the territory of the State.” Burgess characterised it as “original, absolute, unlimited power over the individual subject and over all associations of subjects.”
He further says that sovereignty is “the underived and independent power to command and compel obedience.” The sovereign is “legally supreme over any individual or group,” says Laski, he possesses “supreme coercive power.”
Sovereignty, according to Jenks, is “an authority which, in the last resort, controls absolutely and beyond appeals the actions of every individual member of the community.”