Confederation Law and Legal Definition

Confederation is a type of government which is a permanent union of many sovereign states. These independent states join together to create a national government for common action in relation to other states. The national government has certain common powers over the independent states. The central government coordinates their policies in a number of areas, without constituting a new state on top of the member states. The states will retain their sovereignty in certain areas. Confederation respects the sovereignty of its members and its constituting treaty can only be changed by unanimous agreement.

Confederation is usually created by a treaty and it later adopts a common constitution. Confederations deals with critical issues such as defense, foreign affairs or a common currency. Central government provides support for all members. Relationship between the member states, the central government and states vary. The distribution of powers are also variable. Tighter confederations may resemble federations.