Delegate Law and Legal Definition

Delegate means to transfer power or authority from one person to another. It implies acting on behalf of another for another's benefit. However, some duties are nondelegable and must be performed personally. For example, when a trusteee has a fiduciary duty in a very important transaction, he/she may be required to handle the matter personally. It may also refer to a person chosen to attend a convention, conference or meeting on behalf of an organization, constituency, interest group or business, or one elected by the people of a territory to represent them in Congress, where he has the right of debating, but not of voting.

In an employment relationship, delegation is the downward transfer of formal authority from superior to subordinate. The employee is empowered to act for the supervisor, while the supervisor remains accountable for the outcome. Delegation of authority is a person-to-person relationship requiring trust, commitment, and contracting between the supervisor and the employee.