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An individual or group of people to whom authority has been delegated by a larger group to perform a particular function or duty. A part of a legislative body made up of one or more individuals who have been assigned the task of investigating a certain issue and reporting their observations and recommendations to the legislature. The Senate has various committees, such as the Committee on Nuclear Energy. The name given to the person or group of people appointed by a court and charged with the responsibility of acting as the guardian of an incompetent person.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(formerly) a person to whom the care of a mentally incompetent person or his property was entrusted by a court.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

COMMITTEE, practice. When a person has been found non compos, the law requires that a guardian should be appointed to take care of his person and estate; this guardian is called the committee.
     2. It is usual to select the committee from the next of kin; Shelf. on Lun. 137; and in case of the lunacy of the husband or wife, the one who is of sound mind is entitled, unless under very special circumstances, to be the committee of the other. Id. 140. This is the committee of the person. For committee of the estate, the heir at law is most favored. Relations are referred to strangers, but the latter may be appointed. Id. 144.
     3. It is the duty of the committee of the person, to take care of the lunatic; and the committee of the estate is bound to administer the estate faithfully, and to account for his administration. He cannot in general, make contracts in relation to the estate of the lunatic, or bind it, without a Special order of the court or authority that appointed him. Id. 179; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 389-91.

COMMITTEE, legislation. One or more members of a legislative body to whom is specially referred some matter before that body, in order that they may investigate and examine into it and report to those who delegated this authority to them.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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