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Electronic Signatures in International Contracts

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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. Convention on the Law Applicable to Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 168

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168 Part III: Electronic signatures and international contracts d) Absence of choice In case that the parties to a consumer contract did not make a choice of law, there is also a different regime depending on whether the contract falls under Article 5.2 or not. When the contract falls within any of the three cases listed in Article 5.2 the contract is governed by the law of the country where the consumer has his or her habitual residence. The residence of the consumer is the connecting point and the law of that country applies entirely – and not only its mandatory consumer protection rules as is the case when the parties make a choice of law. That means Article 4, determining the applicable law in absence of a choice, is excluded in its totality. If the contract does not fall within the cases listed in Article 5.2, the normal provisions of Article 4 apply to determine the applicable law. D. Convention on the Law Applicable to Contracts for the International Sale of Goods I. Background On December 22, 1986, the Hague Conference on Private International Law issued a new convention: the Convention on the Law Applicable to Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.560 This convention took into account the developments made by CISG and was to replace the 1995 Convention on the Law Applicable to International Sales of Goods for states ratifying both conventions (Article 28). However, the 1986 Convention on the Law Applicable to Contracts for the International Sale...

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