Act of sovereignty

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An act of sovereignty ( state act of sovereignty ) is an order that the state decides from above ( sovereignly ), in which the state and citizens are in a super-subordinate relationship ( subordination relationship ) to one another.


The sovereign acts include (→  state authority ):

The term comes from the feudal understanding of the state and was adopted into the executive constitution of democracy . A connection with special ethical legitimation is not associated with the concept of the act of sovereignty.

The associated concept of the right to issue an act of sovereignty is sovereign power , or it can be found in a unilateral authority to issue orders, which is also called imperium .


Correspondingly, action is sovereign if the action compulsorily entitles or obliges a public authority . A sovereign can therefore also act on an equal basis. This is the case , for example, with fiscal action .

On the other hand, there is no codified obligation to comply with the authorization or obligation to act in public .

Official status in Germany

According to Article 33, Paragraph 4 of the Basic Law, sovereign action is usually carried out by public officials (e.g. civil servants ) as part of their official duties ( police , tax offices, ministerial bureaucracy, medical and court doctors, etc.). It is disputed whether z. B. Teachers and university lecturers carry out sovereign activities. The majority hold this view in relation to national law.

Under European law, a narrow concept of sovereign action is represented with regard to the free movement of workers ( Art. 45 TFEU ); according to the ECJ, trainee teachers, for example, do not exercise any sovereign activity.

In this context, the functional privatization of various administrative areas is also discussed. It should always be borne in mind that exclusive sovereign rights z. As the field of interventional administration to the monopoly of power of the state to go back and so privatization may not be possible.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ECJ, July 3, 1986 - 66/85 , accessed on May 31, 2011 .