DEPUTY (through the Fr. from a Late Lat. use of deputare, to cut off, allot; putare having the original sense of to trim, prune), one appointed to act or govern instead of another; one who exercises an office in another man's right, a substitute; in representative government a member of an elected chamber. In general, the powers and duties of a deputy are those of his principal (see also Representation), but the extent to which he may exercise them is dependent upon the power delegated to him. He may be authorized to exercise the whole of his principal's office, in which case he is a general deputy, or to act only in some particular matter or service, when he is termed a special deputy. In the United Kingdom various officials are specifically empowered by statute to appoint deputies to act for them under certain circumstances. Thus a clerk of the peace, in case of illness, incapacity or absence, may appoint a fit person to act as his deputy. While judges of the supreme court cannot act by deputy, county court judges and recorders can, in cases of illness or unavoidable absence, appoint deputies. So can registrars of county courts and returning officers at elections.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)