Michel Troper

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199578610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law


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The idea that the state possesses and exercises a supreme and absolute power is central to constitutional law. It is almost impossible for anyone writing in the field to avoid discussing it, even if in some cases the discussion leads to denying that it is a meaningful concept. This article discusses the external and internal sovereignty of the state and sovereignty in the state. It argues that the question whether the theory of sovereignty is valid must be answered in the affirmative for two different reasons, both connected to fundamental conceptions of constitutional theory. First, we can see the task of constitutional theory as a general description of positive constitutional law. Constitutional theory also describes the law through an analysis of legal discourse and it is an empirical fact that actors use the language of sovereignty.

Keywords: state sovereignty; constitutional law; constitutional theory; supreme power; absolute power

Article.  12472 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law

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