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BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT, 1890:
CODIFICATION OF THE LAW-MERCHANT RESPECTING
BILLS OF EXCHANGE, CHEQUES, AND PROMISSORY NOTES,
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS FROM
CANADIAN, ENGLISH, AND AMERICAN DECISIONS.
THOMAS HODGINS, M.A.,
ONE OF HER MAJESTY'S COUNSEL.
“Non erit alia lex Romoe, alia Athenis, alia nune, alia posthac, sed et apud omnes
ENTERED according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 1890, by THOMAS HODGINS,
at the Department of Agriculture.
ROWSELL AND HUTCHISON, LAW PRINTERS TORONTO.
With the exception of a few statutory provisions, the law relating to Bills of Exchange, Cheques, and Promissory Notes, prior to the present Act, had been mainly promulgated through judicial decisions, recognizing and giving effect to the usages and customs of Bankers and Merchants.
These decisions must now be read as subordinate to the statutory rules prescribed by the Act. But where the cases illustrating the text are fairly applicable to the statute, they may be cited as the judicial argument upon which the legislative decision has been founded.
A comparison with the former statutes will show that in some instances alterations have been made in the law, especially as to the form under which a bill or note becomes payable generally, which may affect the mode of presentment for payment.
But the most important change is the introduction of the system of Crossed Cheques, which is recognized in English banking and mercantile communities as a protection to both bank and customer.
Other provisions have been introduced, which are referred to in the notes; and attention may be directed to the clause under which the French and German system of guaranteeing a bill or note, pour Aval,-recognized as law in Quebec,—may, or may not, when tested by the judicial process, become a useful addition to the general law-merchant in the other Provinces and territories.
As these negotiable securities are governed by similar laws in all commercial nations, the notes of cases have been taken from English and American authorities, as well as from decisions in the Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Manitoba Courts.
The annotations are intended to aid in a critical examination, as well as illustration, of the different sections of the Act.
No modern writer can properly deal with the Act without the aid of Judge Chalmers's “ Digest of the law of Bills of Exchange, Promissory Notes, and Cheques." As draftsman and critic of the English Act,—of which our Act is almost entirely a transcript,he has done good service to all the English-speaking communities which have availed themselves of his codification of the law.