Changes in International E-Contracting are on the Horizon: UN Convention on Electronic Contracting

The International Lawyer, 2011 Year in Review, ABA Section of International Law, 2012

Posted: 11 Jul 2012

See all articles by J. Benjamin Lambert

J. Benjamin Lambert

Lexvia, Inc.; University of Tulsa College of Law; Queen Mary, University of London

Anjanette Raymond

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Queen Mary University of London, School of Law; Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Date Written: May 11, 2012

Abstract

The use of electronic commerce in international trade has grown exponentially in the last few years. However, to date few legal instruments have harmonized the law in relation to electronic communications. In response to this gap, UNCITRAL initiated the Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (ECC). The Convention’s purpose is to “facilitate the use of electronic communications in international trade by assuring that contracts concluded and other communications exchanged electronically are as valid and enforceable as their traditional paper-based equivalents.” A simple goal, one would think, yet after several years of dormancy only two nations have ratified the Convention. However, the Convention may now be on the brink of coming into force as the Australian Parliament recently passed the Electronic Transactions Act 2011, which was explicitly drafted to comply with the ECC. Within the next year the Australian process will likely be complete at which time the Convention will come into force. Upon this occurrence, this unknown Convention will begin to impact the enforceability of electronic communication in key regions and industries. Consequently, it is imperative that practitioners have a basic understanding of the Convention’s coverage.

Suggested Citation

Lambert, J. Benjamin and Raymond, Anjanette, Changes in International E-Contracting are on the Horizon: UN Convention on Electronic Contracting (May 11, 2012). The International Lawyer, 2011 Year in Review, ABA Section of International Law, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2103617

J. Benjamin Lambert

Lexvia, Inc. ( email )

19 West 34th Street
Suite 1021
New York, NY 10001
United States

University of Tulsa College of Law ( email )

3120 E. Fourth Place
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

Queen Mary, University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Anjanette Raymond (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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