Agency (law)
(990 words)

1. Early modern period

Agency in its legal sense is an individual’s power under the law to carry out legally significant actions for and against another person, especially declarations of intention.

The modern period took from Roman and canon law numerous institutions that, in today’s parlance, conferred a right of agency. Down to the present day, terminologies used in European languages document the abundance and variety of traditions spread throughout Europe (French représentation, English agency, …

Cite this page
Schmoeckel, Mathias, “Agency (law)”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 22 February 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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