In contracts. The lawful delegation of power by one person to another. In the English law relating to public administration, an authority is a body having jurisdiction in certain matters of a public nature. In governmental law. Legal power; a right to command or to act; the right and power of public officers to require obedience to their orders lawfully issued in the scope of their public duties. Authority to execute a deed must be given by deed.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
(A) government. The right and power which an officer has in the exercise of a public function to compel obedience to his lawful commands. A judge, for example, has authority to enforce obedience to his not being correct. (B) contracts. The delegation of power by one person to another. 2. The authority may be delegated by deed, or by parol. It may be delegated by deed for any purpose whatever, for whenever an authority by parol would be sufficient, one by deed will be equally so. When the authority is to do something which must be performed through the medium of a deed, then the authority must also be by deed, and executed with all the forms necessary, to render that instrument perfect. 3. The exigencies of commercial affairs render such an appointment indispensable; business would be greatly embarrassed, if a regular letter of attorney were required to sign or negotiate a promissory note or bill of exchange, or sell or buy goods, or write a letter, or procure a policy for another. This rule of the common law has been adopted and followed from the civil law. 4. Authorities are divided into general or special. A general authority is one which extends to all acts connected with a particular employment; a special authority is one confined to an individual instance. 5. They are also divided into limited and unlimited. When the agent is bound by precise instructions, it is limited; and unlimited when be is left to pursue his own discretion. 6. An authority is either express or implied. 8. An express authority may be by deed of by parol, that is in writing not under seal, or verbally. The authority must have been actually given. An implied authority is one which, although no proof exists of its having been actually given, may be inferred from the conduct of the principal; for example, when a man leaves his wife without support, the law presumes he authorizes her to buy necessaries for her maintenance; or if a master, usually send his servant to buy goods for him upon credit, and the servant buy some things without the master’s orders, yet the latter will be liable upon the implied authority.