Is it true that despite the Technology Development,
Electronic Commerce is still Legally a Grey Area?
Usage of modern means of communication such as electronic mail and electronic data interchange for the purpose of international trade transactions have been increasing rapidly. With the development of information technology and growing Internet accessibility worldwide, international trade is soon expected to change its traditional way of doing business. However, this development may be hindered by the lack of a globally accepted means of using the Internet to create a contract and make payment. Businesses may run into legal difficulty because they are completely unaware of some of the legal issues that are associated by its nature with E-Commerce such as prescribing the use of “written”,
“signed” and “original” documents.
Legal scrutiny around the formation of electronic contracts affects consumers and businesses engaging in international trade. While most consumers enjoy the security of domestic consumer protection laws to shield them from incorrect, incomplete, or fraudulent computer-based transactions, commercial entities have different legal resources embracing their transactions. Recourse remedies differ based upon the international jurisdictions of the transacting parties. These complications lead commercial entities to question which laws govern international sales transactions. Where does the line between informal communication of an offer and formal acceptance begin? On which party's laws would a legal judgment hinge? Could everyday commercial activities create a binding contract? Are digital documents and signatures legally valid? Are they original, reliable, secure, protected and evidential or not?. Al...
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...and the controversy of
Multiple Jurisdiction”, (2001), International Trade Law & Regulation, 7.
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United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) :