A judicial command or precept issued by a court or magitrate, directing the proper officer to enforce a judgment, sentence or decree.Mandatum or commission, contracts. Some define a mandate to be a bailment of goods without reward, to be carried from place to place, or to have some act performed about them. This seems more properly an enumeration of the various sorts of mandates than a definition of the contract. According to Mr. Justice Story, it is a bailment of personal property, in regard to which the bailee engages to do some act without reward. Others define it to be when one undertakes, without recompense, to do some act for the other in respect to the thing bailed.From the very term of the definition, three things are necessary to create a mandate. First, that there should exist something which should be the matter of the contract; secondly, that it should be done gratuitously; and thirdly, that the parties. should voluntarily intend to enter into the contract.There is no particular form or manner of entering into the contract of mandate, prescribed either by the common law, or by the civil law, in order to give it validity. It may be verbal or in writing; it may be express or implied it may be in solemn form or in any other manner The contract may be varied at the pleasure of the parties. It may be absolute or conditional, general or special, temporary or permanent.
The contract of mandate may be dissolved in various ways: 1. It may be dissolved by the mandatary at any time before he has entered upon its execution; but in this case, as indeed in all others, where the contract is dissolved before the act is done which the parties intended, the property bailed is to be restored to the mandator. It may be dissolved by the death of the mandatory; for, being founded in personal confidence, it is not presumed to pass to his representatives, unless there is some special stipulation to that effect. But this principally applies to cases where the mandate remains wholly unexecuted; for if it be in part executed, there may in some cases, arise a personal obligation on the part of the representatives to complete it.Whenever the trust is of a nature which requires united, advice, confidence and skill of all, and is deemed a joint personal trust to all, the death of one joint mandatary dissolves the contract as to all.The death of the mandator, in like manner, puts an end to the contract. But although an unexecuted mandate ceases with the death of the mandator, yet, if it be executed in part at that time, it is binding to that extent, and his representatives must indemnify the mandatory.The contract of mandate may be dissolved by a change in the state of the parties; as if either party becomes insane, or, being a woman, marries before the execution of the mandate.It may be dissolved by a revocation of the authority, either by operation of law, or by the act of the mandator.It ceases by operation of law when the power of the mandator ceases over the subject-matter; as, if he be a guardian, it ceases, as to his ward's property, by the termination of the guardianship.So, if the mandator sells the property, it ceases upon the sale, if it be made known to the mandatory. By the civil law the contract of mandate ceases by the revocation of the authority.
At common law, the party giving an authority is generally entitled to revoke it. But, if it be given as a part of a security, as if a letter of attorney be given to collect a debt, as a security for money advanced, it is irrevocable by the party, although revoked by death.Roman law. Mandates were the instructions which the emperor addressed to public functionaries, which were to serve as rules for their conduct. 2. These mandates resembled those of the pro-consuls, the mandata jurisdictio, and were ordinarily binding on the legates or lieutenants of the emperor of the imperial provinces, and, there they had the authority of the principal edicts.