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The use of electronic commerce in international trade is growing by leaps and
bounds. No one can dispute the need for a system of rules to guide countries
as well as private commercial parties through the many new developments and
issues that arise. The United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic
Communications in International Contracts (ECC), adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly in December 2005 and currently undergoing the ratification
process, provides such a system. This book is a guide and resource on the
Convention: its evolution, interpretation, and relationship to domestic laws
throughout the world.
The book represents the outcome of a conference held at the Leibniz
University of Hannover in September 2007. It consists of an introduction
to the drafting of the Convention, expert commentary on each article, and
perspectives in the context of domestic and substantive law. A distinguished
panel of authorities- representatives of governments, international
organizations, transnational companies, and universities, as well as
practising attorneys, all of whom have been active domestically and
internationally in confronting the legal issues of electronic commerce-
discuss such aspects of the ECC as the following:
timing of dispatch and receipt of electronic communications;
transactions related to the financial sector;
altering the scope of the Convention by contract;
‘opting in’ and ‘opting out’; ‘choice of law’ versus ‘party autonomy’;
use of foreign case law to interpret the Convention;
legal information requirements;
writing and signature requirements;
error in electronic communications; and
problems of identity and data integrity.
Several authors provide in-depth analysis of the interaction between ECC
provisions and other relevant legal regimes (including the United States,
ASEAN, the EU, Sri Lanka, India, and China), as well as the interrelations
between the ECC and ICC rules, rules under the CISG, and the trade usages of
the lex mercatoria.
The various contributors highlight issues arising from each ECC provision, and
provide well-informed insight into how remaining problems are likely to be
resolved as the Convention enters into force. Stakeholders from all concerned
sectors of the legal community - businesspersons and their counsel, IGO and
government officials, and academics - will benefit greatly from the detailed
information, analysis, and guidance offered here.
List of Contributors. Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction;
Part I. Drafting and Negotiating History of the Electronic
Communications Convention; J.A. Estrella-Faria.
Part II. 1. Sphere of Application; A.H. Boss.
2. General Provisions; R. Sandoval López, E. Özsunay.
3. Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts; G.
Fuping, T. Smedinghoff, W.Kilian, E. Özsunay, J. Gregory, J. Remsu.
4. Final Provisions; S. Eiselen, J. Remsu, J. Gregory, C. Connolly, C.
III. 1. United States Perspective on the Convention on the Use of
Electronic Communications in International Contracts; A.H. Boss. 2.
Using the Electronic Communications Convention to Harmonize National and
International Electronic Commerce Laws: An ASEAN Case Study; C. Connolly
. 3. The Interaction between the Electronic Communications Convention
and the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods; S.
Eiselen. 4. A Developing Country Perspective: The Impact of the
Electronic Communications Convention on Legislation in the South Asian Region;
J. Fernando. 5. Implementation of the Electronic Communications
Convention: A Chinese Perspective; F. Gao. 6. The Electronic
Communications Convention: A European Union Perspective; W. Kilian.
7. ICC Perspectives on the United Nations Electronic Communications
Convention; C. Kuner. 8. Trade Usages under the Electronic
Communications Convention; P. Polański. 9. The Role of
Information Security in the Electronic Communications Convention; T.
Smedinghoff. Appendices: A. United Nations Convention on the Use of
Electronic Communications in International Contracts. B. List of
Signatories to the Electronic Communications Convention. C. Electronic
Communications Convention travaux préparatoires. D. List of
Participants in the Drafting of the Electronic Communications Convention. E.
UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996). F. Domestic
Enactments of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce. G.
Glossary of Frequently Used Terms and Abbreviations. Bibliography. Index.