Sovereign Right Law and Legal Definition

A sovereign right refers to a legal right possessed by state or its agencies and enables a state to carry out its official functions for the benefit of public. Sovereign right is distinct from certain proprietary rights because those proprietary rights may be possessed by private persons. Sovereign right is attributed through authority of law.

The following is an example of a case law defining sovereign right:

A sovereign right is the consideration of public service, or that character of service conducive to the public good. [Barbour v. Louisville Board of Trade, 82 Ky. 645, 657 (Ky. Ct. App. 1885)].