Difficulties with e-signatures: How shall we know them?

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Forder, Jay (2009). Difficulties with e-signatures: How shall we know them? In Kierkegaard, Sylvia M. (Ed.), Legal discourse in cyberlaw and trade, (pp. 99-112). Malta: International Association of IT Lawyers (IAITL).

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR: 1801

© Copyright International Association of IT Lawyers, 2009. Copyright the Authors, 2009.




This paper suggests that Australia's Electronic Transactions legislation (and UNCITRAL's 1996 Model Law on Electronic Commerce on which it is based) is unhelpful in trying to decide whether a particular electronic activity is likely to be recognised as a valid signature. It considers whether updating the legislation in light of UNCITRAL's 2001 Model Law on Electronic Signatures or the 2005 UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts would improve the situation. It concludes that such an update would clarify some issues, but that overall it will not solve the difficulties. The paper ends by briefly speculating on the likely attributes of a more helpful approach.

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This document has been peer reviewed.