Sovereignty

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					 Sovereignty
Principle and Paradox
                 Definition
   The principle upon
    which a nation
    comes to exercise
    supreme political
    authority over its
    affairs
              Considerations
   What constitutes “a nation” or “state”?
   Jean Bodin: …each state is legally equal to
    all others… there is no higher authority
    than the state
   Sovereignty is the basis of national
    independence and international law
   Citizens owe their allegiance to their state,
    which is responsible for their well-being
    (sound familiar?)
          Internal Sovereignty
   The governing authority has the right to
    make and apply its laws within its borders
         External Sovereignty
   The state can enter
    into agreements with
    other states
    (paradoxically: these
    agreements limit the
    sovereignty of the
    signing states)
   The right to self
    determination without
    interference from
    other states
             But is it “Law”?
   Accordance with the UN and other groups
    or agreements are based on goodwill since
    state sovereignty constitutes ultimate
    authority
   Some argue that this means that
    “international law” is therefore an
    oxymoron
     Agreements – also called…
   Treaties
   Conventions
   Protocols
   Covenants
   Acts
         Terms for understanding
         international agreements
   Unilateral: a decision or action taken by a state on
    its own
   Bilateral: An agreement or action taken between
    two states (usually involves only those two states)
   Multilateral: An agreement involving three or more
    states
   Moratorium: agreement to halt an action or
    process
   Signatories: states who have signed an agreement
   Veto: the ability to stop legislation without
    discussion
   Ratify: the process of bringing an international
    agreement to the legislative body of a state to
    bring the terms of agreement into action
         Passing An International
               Agreement
   Agreements are discussed and the details
    worked out (this is a long and arduous
    process that we seldom hear about in the
    media)
   States “sign on” to the agreement (this is
    the part that we hear about)
   Each state must ratify the terms of the
    agreement by allowing the nations
    legislators to agree to the terms and
    change domestic law to meet the
    agreement (this most important step is
    also underreported)
        Breaking an International
               Agreement
   It is possible to
    “opt out” of an
    agreement simply
    by announcing
    intent to do such
    (North Korea and
    the Nuclear Non-
    Proliferation
    Agreement)
        Enforcing an Agreement
   A decision against a nation in the international
    court or at the UN may have “persuasive value”
    but no enforcement value
   Economic Sanctions: may be specific to certain
    economic activities
   Trade Boycott: Includes the cessation of most
    economic activities
   Trade Embargo: Extends sanctions to other
    nations who choose to trade with the offending
    nation( raises issues of sovereignty)
   Blockade: is a physical (military) block to the
    importing and exporting of a nation (this is
    considered an act of war)
                 Extradition
   Is the transfer of an
    individual from one
    state to another for
    the purposes of
    criminal prosecution.
   Extradition requests
    must meet certain
    criteria before they
    are carried out
         Extradition: conditions
   Must be a serious offence (these offences
    are usually set out in specific extradition
    agreements)
   Double Criminality: the offence must be
    a crime in both states
   Reciprocity: this is the presumption that
    extradition will flow in both directions
   Evidence: extradition is not simply made
    upon request but the requesting nation
    must provide evidence to validate the
    charges
   Speciality: only the charges specified in
    the extradition request can be used
    against the accused