This article explores the exiling of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, in 1814 and 1815. It argues that in confronting Napoleon’s sovereignty and trying to remove him, the allies were forced to make a highly pragmatic, improvisational, and incoherent use of international law. Much of this stemmed from that fact that they were trying to implement a Great Powers political system within and through a legal system that was antithetical to any such concept. Because of this the allies move between employing traditional, domestic understandings of sovereignty, to treating sovereignty as something capable of international control and distribution. This results in an incoherent legal argument and narrative, with each turn of the tale adding layer upon layer of further confusion and contradiction. The conclusion of all this is Napoleon’s miserable dispatch to St. Helena by the British government – speedily done and in fear of a legal challenge.