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Report No. 68

Aspect of power-its significance

1.4. The essential characteristic of an agent is that he is invested with a legal power to alter his principal's legal relations with third persons : the principal is under a correlative liability to have his legal relations altered. This theory (as to the essential characteristic of an agent) was advanced first by Hohfeld1.

The English judges have occasionally described an agent as holding such a "power"2-4.

This is also the expression used by Mellish L.J.5, by Romilly M.R.6 and by Lord Watson7 in reported cases.

1. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions, page 52.

2. Read v. Anderson, (1884) 13 Q.B.D. 779, 782; (Bowen, L.J.).

3. Lamb v. Goring Brick Co., (1932 1 K.B. 710, 713; (Wright. J.).

4. Salford Corporation v. Lever, (1891) 1 Q.B. 168; (Lord Esher).

5. Parker v. Mckenna, (1874) L.R. 10 Ch. 96, 125.

6. Pariente v. Lubbock, (1855) 20 Beay. 588, 597-598.

7. Stumore v. Breen, (1866) 12 App. Cas. 698, 704.



The Powers of Attorney Act, 1882 Back




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