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Unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money, easily transferable from one person to another. Examples: check, promissory note, draft (bill or exchange). The Uniform Commercial Code requires that for an instrument to be negotiable it must by signed by the maker or drawer, must contain an unconditional promise or order to pay a specific amount of money, must be payable on demand or at a specified future time, and must be payable to order or to the bearer.

cf... Everything Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms

A negotiable instrument (in the law of England and Wales) is an instrument which may be transferred in the same way as cash. Normally, title is passed simply by delivery. Good title will always be passed to a bona fide purchaser for value.

The class of negotiable instruments is governed both by statute (1877 Bills of exchange Act), and by common law, incorporating both the law merchant, and later instruments universally accepted as negotiable by commercial practice.

This is interesting because it represents a genuine exception to the rule of consideration: a holder of such an instrument may sue upon it, even though they did not themselves provide consideration to the promissor; nor have they been assigned a chose in action.

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