Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Assign Definition:

To sell, give or otherwise transfer some legal right or responsibility to another.
• See, also, the extensive discussion on the law of assignment at Chapter 6 of Duhaime's Contract Law.

To give an item of property, or to transfer some legal responsibility, to another.

In O'Brien v Stebbins:

"To assign chattels means to transfer the property therein to another."

The assignee (sometimes also called an "assign") is the person who receives the right or property being given.

The assignor is the person giving; assigning the item of property.

In Sovereign Fire Insurance v Peters, Justice Richie of Canada's Supreme Court wrote:

"... assign is, in law, to transfer or make over to another the right one has in any object.... A mortgage is one thing; an assignment of the property is quite another; the one being conditional the other absolute."


  • O'Brien v Stebbins & Mullen 3 DLR 274 (1927; SKCA)
  • Sovereign Fire Insurance Company v Charles Peters 18 SCR 33 (1885) at page 38.

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