18th century bill of exchange legislation : inspiration for or roots of Czech legal provisions on bills of exchange?
The bill of exchange code of 1850 was extended by some special provisions, especially ministerial decree of 1858, the Nurnberg Amendment of 1872, Jasinský’s Amendment and an act from 8 March 1876. Bill of exchange law has its history and also today it is an inseparable special part of the private law. It is therefore necessary to pay special attention to it, especially because there is very little professional literature covering its history, perhaps with the exception of V. Urfus. In the context of the Austrian bill of exchange codes I mentioned above a bill of exchange (cambium) was basically a written record of an exchange transaction. It was defined as a brief written promise that had to meet certain conditions defined by the law and whose content was otherwise identical to the contents of an exchange relationship. These conditions were either essential or non-essential. The authorized person in a bill of exchange could transfer his rights to another person. This was done in the form of an endorsement, also called “indosament” and “žiro”. A bill of exchange had to be accepted regardless of this endorsement. When paying the bill of exchange, the acceptor was to deposit the exchange amount to a court. The number of transfers by endorsement was not limited. However, each transfer had to meet various conditions defined by the bill of exchange code. If any of the required exchange requisites was missing the endorsement was, according to the bill of exchange code, treated as procuration. In this case endorsement did not transfer the rights from the endorser to the endorsee. For this reason, if the endorses was in bankruptcy proceeding, the bill of exchange was included in the bankruptcy assets. In the period of interest, a number of special exchange and mercantile courts were established with threelevel structure. These courts would make decisions on exchange relationships until they were reorganized by the Josephine reforms.