john austin theory of sovereignty
November 13th, 2020

2. Austin’s views were based largely on the teachings of Hobbes and Bentham and were first made public in his “Lectures on Jurisprudence,” published in 1832. Obedience should come from bulk of the society otherwise there is no sovereign. This definition expresses that the sovereign, that is, the person/people in power is politically superior, but in democratic countries, it is not true. John Austin (1790-1859) was an English jurist. Austin failed to distinguish legal and political sovereignty. He first referred the case of Ranjeet Singh, the Sikh Ruler of the Punjab during 1801-39, who could be regarded an absolute sovereign in Austinian sense, because he “could have commanded anything; the smallest disobedience to his command could have been followed by death or mutilation”. Secondly, whatever the supreme authority commands is a law. This is the sociological role of law in human life Austin believed that law is obeyed only when it is issued as a commanc But law is obeyed for various reasons, among which force or coerciv power of the sovereign is only one, and often a subordinate one. It is thus a serious mistake to assume that sovereignty is possible only within the framework of the classic type of state, i. e. , a nation-state, as do representatives of the “realist” school, such as Alan James and F. H. Hinsley, or neo-Marxist theoreticians like Justin Rosenberg. John Austin (1790–1859) was born in the United Kingdom. In modern times, if such things into existence into any country, it will become much more vulnerable to rebels, riots or even full-fledged war. It is characteristic of federal state that power must be divided between the federal government and its units. You can click on this link and join: © Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved. Closer to the truth is John Hoffman’s assertion that “sovereignty has been an insoluble problem ever since it became associated with the state. Sovereign power is indivisible. John Austin is the most well known name connected with the theory of sovereignty. Only a determinate person or body of persons can be sovereign: It means that sovereignty cannot belong to the general will, as Rousseau said, or to the people or to the public opinion, as it is said by the advocates of popular sovereignty, or to any superhuman being as is the Islamic view. This is also not true. In this article, he has talked about John Austin’s theory of sovereignty and its relevance in India’s current political and legal scenario. His concept of sovereignty is very classic one though it is clear. Thus, sovereignty is eminently rational, if not dialectical, since the sovereignty of a state depends not only on the autonomous will of its sovereign, but also on its standing vis-a-vis other sovereign states. In his initial career, he has served in the army for 5 years and also in the chancery bar of the UK. But Austin’s theory doesn’t give any room to international laws/relations and makes sovereign the supreme and all-pervasive authority of the land who is not answerable to any. Division of sovereignty leads to its destruction. It has been beautifully made as a “Union of states” as mentioned in U/A 1 of the constitution. Austin's theory says that the obedience to sovereign must be habitual. A sovereign doesn’t have the power to perpetuate inhumane action against his citizens as the same shall come into great criticism from the world order and it shall soon have to face the consequences of surviving in a hostile world atmosphere if it continues to do so. The same is the reason for the simplicity and spontaneity of his work. | Powered by. The problem with sovereignty appeared at the end of the Middle Ages, when the question posed was no longer only about the best form of government or the limits of political authority, but about the relation between the government and the people, i. e. , the relation between ruler and ruled in a political community. Even sovereign’s acts are shaped by so many other influences, such as morals, values and customs of the society. After working for the government at certain reputed designations, he died in 1859 in Surrey, UK. Furthermore, every positive law, or every law simple and strictly so-called, is set, directly or circuitously, by a sovereign person or body to a member or members of the independent political society wherein that person or body is sovereign or supreme. According to Austin “Law is a command given by a superior to inferior” the main tenets of Austin’s theory of sovereignty are as follows-. But they were severely criticised by the writers of Historical … gives the example of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After working for the government at certain reputed designations, Commands are expressions of desire given by superiors (sovereign) to inferiors (general public). At the same time, legal sovereign, the King- in-Parliament, is not absolute, because it is conditioned by a number i influences and forces which constitute political sovereignty. His theory was conditioned mainly upon his view of the nature of law, which he defined in a general way as a command given by a superior to an inferior. He is known for his theory of sovereignty and legal positivism mentioned in his book “Province of Jurisprudence”. To. No sovereign, however despotic, could disregard customs. AUSTIN’S THEORY OF SOVEREIGNTY (MONISTIC VIEW): In the 19th century Austin, an English Jurist, perfected the theory of sovereignty as a legal concept. Especially, in case of a country like India which is trying to boost its economy and GDP by means of foreign investment and exports in recent times under the campaign like Make in India. Austin’s theory is clear and logical. It is not necessary that sovereign should be a single person. In brief we can say that sovereignty according to Austin is supreme, indivisible and unquestionable. In the 19th century the theory of sovereignty as a legal concept Also, according to Austin’s definitions, customs are also not a source of law and thus not applicable.

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