Chapter 6: The work of national and international institutions 109
Chapter 6: The work of national and international institutions National and international institutions such as UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce and the American Bar Association took an active role in promoting the use of electronic signatures and advancing their legal framework. A. UNCITRAL The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)304 is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly and is responsible for furthering the harmonization and unification of international trade law.305 UNCITRAL issued two model laws which deal, one partially and the other entirely, with the topic of electronic signatures: The Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996) and the Model Law on Electronic Signatures (2001).306 In 2005, UNCITRAL adopted the Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.307 Model laws are legislatives texts that aim at providing lawmakers with guidance when enacting national legislation in topics related to international trade. Lawmakers may adopt model laws as proposed by UNCITRAL or may freely modify them. However, the goal of model laws is not only to provide legislators with a legal text that is deemed appropriate for a certain aspect of international trade law but mainly to achieve unification of legislation in that area of law. Therefore, the larger the number of countries that enact legislation based on a model law, the fewer the chances of having divergent national legislation. In conclusion, unlike conventions model laws do not enter into force, are not enforceable and may be widely modified.308 Nonetheless, due to their...
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