Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Honduras Becomes First Nation to Ratify U.N. Convention on the Use of Electronic Commincations in International Contracts
The United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts was aopted by the General Assembly in November 2005. The Convention aims to enhance legal certainty and commercial predictability where electronic communications are used in relation to international contracts. It addresses issues such as:
- the determination of a party's location in an electronic environment;
- the time and place of dispatch and receipt of electronic communications;
- the use of automated message systems for contract formation; and
- the criteria to be used for establishing functional equivalence between electronic communications and paper documents -- including "original" paper documents -- as well as between electronic authentication methods and hand-written signatures.
The Convention will enter into effect when three nations ratify it. So far 18 countries have signed it, including the People's Republic of China, South Korea, and Russia. This week, Honduras became the first nation to ratify the convention. Only two more nations need ratify it before it enters into effect. UNCITRAL has not even sent out a press release on this yet, so you heard about this here first!