This course provides students with an introduction to the Canadian financial system and the law applicable to financial and payment instruments. The focus is on negotiable instruments and the Bills of Exchange Act. A negotiable instrument refers to an instrument that guarantees payment of a specific sum of money to a specific person (e.g. cheques, promissory notes, bills of exchange, etc.) As payment mechanisms, negotiable instruments are an essential component of commerce and facilitate all manner of consumer, commercial, and financial transactions. Negotiable instruments are closely linked to the banker-customer relationship and therefore are studied in connection with banking law.
The course will explore policy considerations, such as the role of law in facilitating commerce and the need to provide certainty in transactions. By the end of the course students will understand how various payment mechanisms operate. Students will also be able to critically evaluate policy debates in commercial law.