Criticism of Austin’s Sovereignty


Sir Henry Maine questioned the validity of the concept of ‘the determinate superior’. The determinate superior should not be allowed to violate the law and it is difficult in most of the state to locate the determinate human superior.

If the sovereign cannot alter or disobey the common or customary law, only in theory, the command of sovereign is law.

The proposition that sovereignty is indivisible is absurd. In every state, the functions of the government are divided among legislative, executive and judicial.

Absoluteness of political power may be a legal fiction but is not a political reality. No political ruler is able to exercise absolute or unlimited power at least in the modern period.