Electronic commerce with particular reference to electronic contracts
This thesis analyses legal issues related to evidence and contract laws in the context of electronic commerce. Electronic commerce raises a number of legal problems such as the need for authentication, liabilities, whether electronic records are admissible as evidence and whether electronic transmissions are considered writing where writing is required. Many legal systems have faced or will face some questions, such as whether electronic evidence is inadmissible only in the ground of being created or stored electronically? Should the law of evidence be reformed in order to meet the new technologies? It is questionable whether electronic communications and records can or should meet the legal requirements of "writing" and "signature". Do electronic and digital signatures satisfy the legal requirements? It has been argued that it is not logical and reasonable to apply legal requirements that have been constituted in the ground of paper-based communication on electronic communication. Electronic contracts raise some legal issues, including whether the contract must be in a particular form or authenticated; when the message is sent and received; whether it is received in the same form as it is sent; validity, time and place of communication; cross-offers and battle of forms issues. All these issues are considered from UK common law point of view and according to CISG, UNIDROIT Principles, PECL, UNCITRAL Model Laws and the Uniform Commercial Code. Electronic contracts involve consideration whether a computer can properly be used to enter into a contractual relationship, to which existing rules on contract negotiation may need to be developed to suit formation of contracts by means of computer and telecommunications and whether old rules are appropriate today. This study examines other legal problems relating to contracts formed on the Internet, including the use of electronic agents, enforceability of mass-market licences, electronic payments and choice of law and jurisdiction issues.