Law is the supreme legal authority, the supreme legal authority is known as sovereign authority or sovereignt

Law is the supreme legal authority, the supreme legal authority is known as sovereign authority or sovereignty-discuss


The definition of law describes that law has a sovereign authority and there cannot be a law without the sovereign power. It is a clear indication that law is imposed by the highest authority of any country to regulate the human and social rights for the betterment of living.

The history of law also indicates that there is a superior power or the state is the authority to impose the law on human behavior. If there is no sovereign authority law cannot be imposed or there will be no law.

Separation of power:

The principle of separation of power is one of the vital elements of democracy. The model was first developed by the ancient Greek in the constitutions that governed their city-states. For the sake of rule of law, Aristotle in his politics differentiated three categories of state activity: 1. Deliberations concerning common affairs 2 Decision of executive magistrates and 3. Judicial ruling, later, a renowned British political philosopher john Locke in his work two treaties of civil government argued that there is no evidence that the British monarch derived its Devine authorities from God, in an attempt to establish the individual rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Locke recommended separation of power among the following authorities: legislative, executive and judicial branch. The three organs of state must not get into one hand. Again the French political philosopher and jurist Charles Louis Montesquieu was the first to make the modern division among legislative, executive and judiciary. In his book [2]The Spirit of Laws Montesquieu maintained that ‘there is no liberty if the judicial power be not separated from the legislative and the executive. He argued that the government powers should separated and balanced to guarantee individual right and freedom. Where it joined with the legislative and the executive, the life and the liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control; for the judge then would then be the legislator. Where it joined with the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression.

The functional division among the branches of government, however, is never been precise. No democratic system exists with an absolute separation of powers. In reality total separation of power is neither possible nor desirable. It is a utopia. Dependency and overlapping are always among the state branches. Balancing of power among the various institutions with some checks must be desired goal. Objective is to establish a balance among the state branches and to refrain any branch from becoming absolutely powerful; because power may create tyranny, which is a hindrance towards stability and development. Goal should be balancing of state powers and ensuring judicial independence with adequate transparency and accountability.

The executive branch:

Executive department is the branch of the government that has the duty of enforcing the laws. This is distinguished from the legislative department or legislature, which enacts or repeals laws, and the judicial department which interprets, upholds or invalidates them. In various department the executive department serves as an aid to the chief executive in many ways: it devices and executes broad policies in accordance with which the laws are to be applied, it represent the nation in nits diplomatic relations, it maintains the armed forces, and it conduct research and make recommendations with regard to legislation. In democratic nations today, the executive branch is generally regarded as the administrator and executor of the popular will, as expressed in the acts of the representative legislature, the executive branch of totalitarian state exercise supreme governmental power and rules without regard to judicial or other restrictions.

Thus, the meaning of executive branch is often overlapped with the sphere of activities that are run by the government. Sometimes bureaucracy is regarded as the sole authority of executive branch. For convince of our discussion we can include the following elements as the components of executive branch:

1. The executive head: president or prime Minister or both.

2. The executive council: Advisory board.

3. The cabinet: both in the presidential and parliamentary systems, and

4. The civil service: Bureaucracy

The executive head:

Political executives are government officials who participate in the determination and direction of government policy. They include heads of state and government leaders-presidents, prime ministries, premiers, chancellors, members and ministers, councilors, and agency heads. By this definition , there are several thousand political executives in the [3]U.S. national government, including the president, dozens of political appointees in the cabinet departments, in the agencies, in the commissions, and in the white house staff, and hundreds of senior civil servants. The same is true of most advanced political systems, for the making and implementation of government policy require very large executive and administrative establishments.

The council / cabinet:

Cabinet is the name applied to the collective body of advisers to the executive head of parliamentary government. Cabinets are usually composed of ministers, most of whom are department chiefs, but ministers are not necessarily cabinet members. If a cabinet lacks either legislative or popular support, the government is said to fall, and the executive must form a new cabinet capable of winning the record support.

The civil service:

Civil service name is generally given to pay non-military service in non elective office in the executive branch of government. In Great Britain, the term civil service is used to donate only positions in the national government. Civil service employees are selected by competitive examination.


It is a professional body of officials associated with the administrative apparatus of the state. The term also encompasses the personnel and administrative structure of both public and private organizations. In a more important sense, government systems depend on bureaucracy, without which no modern government can function.

The legislative branch:

A legislature is a governmental deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. Legislatures[4] are known by many names, including: parliament, congress diet and a national assembly. Legislatures are ancient political institutions that came into being in ancient Greece. Modern legislatures are mostly bicameral but in certain cases it could be unicameral as it is in Bangladesh. The typical function of the legislature is the making of law. Except rule making, Legislatures have other tasks as well.


In parliamentary systems of government, the legislature is formally supreme and appoints the executive. In presidential systems of government the legislature is considered a branch of government which is equal to, and independent of, the executive. In addition to, enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise taxes and adopt the budget and money bills. The consent of the legislature is also often required to ratify treaties and declare war.


Legislatures differ strikingly in their size, the procedures they employ; the role of political parties in legislative action, and their vitality as representative bodies. Most legislatures are either bicameral or unicameral. A unicameral legislature is the simplest kind of law making body and has only one house.

Relation with head of state:

Many legislatures are said to include not just one or more houses but also the head of state. This is because in most systems it is necessary that, after being approved by the house or houses of the legislature, a bill receive the assent of the head of state before it can become law.

Expansion of executive power:

It is often said that the 20th century has dealt harshly with legislatures and that this is an age of executive enlargement. Certainly, executives in most countries have assumed an increasingly large role in the making of law, through the initiation of the legislation that comes before parliament’s assemblies, and congresses, through the exercise of various rule-making functions, and as a result of the growth of different types of delegated legislation.

The judicial branch:

Code of ‘Humborabi’ was the first codified instrument for establishing legal system in the society. Most of the religious rules and dos and donts were actually administering the society. State was rather weak in comparison with religious institutions for administering justice. At certain point of history heads of the religious institutions became the ultimate authority for deciding any right or wrong, because religious chiefs were deemed to be the direct representative e of the Almighty. In the medieval period, the order of the king was law. King was empowered to make important laws. It was king’s absolute authority to administer justice which eventually created a tyranny. With such development the concept of modern state incorporated the principle of separation of power and thereby the separate Judicial system.


The courts are one of the most fundamental institutions where power is contested in a constitutional[5] democracy. A functioning and independent judiciary can restrain and hold the executive accountable together with other state institutions, as well as political and economic elites. A robust judiciary is imperative in establishing rule based governance. For independent functioning the judiciary requires protection or immunity from unlawful or improper influences, direct or indirect, on the way in which a judge carries out his/her judicial functions. The judiciary shall decide matters only on the basis of facts and in accordance with the law and established legal procedure. Ti must be free from any improper influences from any quarter or for any reason, it shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide its competence.

Established court systems are found in all advanced political systems. Usually there ae two judicial hierarchies, one dealing with civil and the other with criminal cases, each with a large number of local courts, a lesser number at the level of the province or the region, and one or more courts at the national level.

Local courts are found n all systems and are usually of two types. The first type deal with the petty offences and may include a traffic court, a municipal court, a small-claims court, and a court presided over by a justice of the peace or a local magistrate. The second type sometimes called trial courts is courts of first instance in which most cases of major importance are begun. In all systems there are national supreme courts that hear appeals and exercise original jurisdiction in cases of the greatest importance, such as those involving conflict between a state and a national government.

Outside the regular court systems, there are sometimes found specialized judicial tribunals, such as a administrative courts, or courts of claims that deal with the special categories of cases.

Judicial Accountability:

• In a democratic political system, citizens are provided with the necessary legal means to challenge the policy decisions as well as administrative decisions of the government. In most democracies the machinery of public administration includes organizations for adjudicating on disputes between citizens and the administration in matters like taxation and compensation. If dispute still persists, citizens can approach regular courts of law challenging the decisions of the government. In Bangladesh, for example, Supreme Court and high courts can issue a variety of writs challenging the decisions of the government. The public administrators, therefore, have to advise on policy formulation and policy implementation keeping in view the probable reaction of the court, if and when their policies or actions are challenged in the court of law.


The ideal of the rule of law can best prevent arbitrary abuses of state power and bring about peace and freedom in modern society. It enables peaceful, nonviolent arbitration of conflicts both between individuals and the states and it preserves individual freedom to the largest extent possible, especially when organized in conformity with principles and institutions of constitutional democracy. Sovereignty represents the fundamental obstruction to the full realization of the rule of law. Sovereign authority is the ultimate power of the state which regulates law. If there is no sovereign authority law cannot be imposed. The law is sourced by the sovereign authority and it is the command of authority. So there cannot be any law without sovereign authority.



2. Iain Stewart, “Montesquieu in England: his ‘Notes on England’, with Commentary and Translation” (2002)

3. ain Stewart, “Men of Class: Aristotle, Montesquieu and Dicey on ‘Separation of Powers’ and ‘the Rule of Law'”



6. Wheare.,K.C(1996),” Modern Constitution”. Oxford University Press.







13. Andreas Osiander, “Sovereignty, International Relations, and the Westphalian Myth”, International Organization Vol. 55 No. 2 (Spring 2001), pp. 251–287.

14. Malanczuk, Peter. Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law. International politics/Public international law. Routledge. pp. pp147–152. ISBN 9780415111201.

15. bTalmon, Stefan (1998). Recognition of Governments in International Law. Oxford Monographs in International Law Series. Oxford University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780198265733.

16. The Biography of RIchard B. Cheney. Last visited : February 16, 2001.

17. Executive Departments of the US Government; Last visited: March 5, 2001.

18. Bernard Manin, Principles of Representative Government (1995; English version 1997)

19. Iain Stewart, “Montesquieu in England: his ‘Notes on England’, with Commentary and Translation” (2002)

20. and Balances.

[1] central to the idea of Separation of Powers,

[2] M.Louis. the spirit of laws

1. [3] Executive Departments of the US Government; Last visited: March 5, 2001.

2. [4]

3. [5] Wheare.,K.C(1996),” Modern Constitution”. Oxford University Press.