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Electronic Signatures in International Contracts


Carolina Monica Laborde

Electronic signature legislation seeks to facilitate e-commerce by providing an electronic equivalent to handwritten signatures in paper-based contracts. However, electronic signature legislation enacted in the past years in different jurisdictions has followed a dissimilar approach. In light thereof, this book analyzes the legal validity of electronic signatures in international contracts potentially subject to divergent electronic signature regulation. To this end, four major issues are addressed: the technological and legal concept of electronic signatures; the legal regulation of electronic signatures; the determination of the electronic signature legislation that will be applicable to an international contract; and, finally, the implications of applying one electronic signature law or another. The research covers the laws of Argentina, Germany and the United States of America as well as international conventions.


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D. Conclusions 55


Chapter 2: The legal approach to electronic signatures 55 particular technology where the parties know before concluding a contract that by using a certain technology the signature will be valid.140 D. Conclusions Electronic signatures may in electronic transactions perform what handwritten signatures do in paper transactions. This is the reason why the regulation of electronic signatures has attracted the attention of legislators worldwide. However, not all technologies ensure the same level of security. Some legal systems have recognized as valid for the conclusion of legal acts only techniques that ensure a high level of reliability with respect to the identity of the person and integrity of the document, while others have adopted a more flexible approach. Nevertheless, the legal trend seems to be that of avoiding statutes based on a particular technology. 140 Lincoln, Electronic Signature Laws and the Need for Uniformity in the Global Market, The Journal of Small and Emerging Business Law, Volume 8, 2004, 67, 78.

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