'Updating' the Electronic Transactions Act? -- Australia's Accession to the Un Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts 2005

Journal of Contract Law (2010) vol 26 (2)

18 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2012

See all articles by Dr Eliza Mik

Dr Eliza Mik

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law; TILT; Melbourne Law School

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

This article discusses the Australian Government's proposal to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts as well as certain amendments to existing Australian electronic transactions legislation, that is, the Electronic Transactions Act (Commonwealth) 1999 (ETA) and its state equivalents. Without going into a detailed discussion of all suggested amendments, this article focuses on those recommendations, which affect the area of contract formation, in particular: the use of automated systems in online transactions and the determination of the time the contract comes into existence. A critical review of the proposed changes reveals that their implementation will result in the creation of a parallel regime for contracts formed by electronic means and create fur- ther legal uncertainties in the field of Internet-based commerce. This result stands in stark opposition to the original goal of the ETA: to facilitate and enable online transactions.

Keywords: electronic contracting, UNCITRAL Convention on Electronic Contracting, ETA

Suggested Citation

Mik, Eliza, 'Updating' the Electronic Transactions Act? -- Australia's Accession to the Un Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts 2005 (May 2009). Journal of Contract Law (2010) vol 26 (2), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2046858

Eliza Mik (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong

TILT ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Melbourne Law School ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Melbourne, VIC 3010
Australia

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