Sovereignty and jurisdiction are related but quite distinct concepts. Sovereignty refers to the possession of ultimate legal authority within a defined territory. Jurisdiction refers to the authority to exercise legal power. Sovereignty is a normative concept, a product of moral philosophy and legal theory that is used to make claims about how political and legal systems ought to be organized, while jurisdiction is an empirical concept used to describe how such systems actually are organized.

Sovereignty consists of two aspects. De jure sovereignty is the moral or normative claim to the right to govern a state, while de facto sovereignty involves having effective power to act as the sovereign. In international law, sovereignty and jurisdiction are equivalent; a sovereign has jurisdiction within its territory to the ...

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