Are you aware of the new legal developments in e commerce ?

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Or how we will now have certainty in electronic transactions both here and abroad 

Over recent times all of the jurisdictions in Australia with the exception of Queensland ( which is dragging the chain) have made amendments to their electronic transactions acts ( ETAs)

This is partly in anticipation of Australia becoming a signatory to the 2005 United Nations convention in the use of electronic communications in international contracts ( the Convention)

Currently all states have enacted their ETAs based largely on the United Nations model law 

Under the amending legislation the states and commonwealth have brought their ETAs in line with international law 

The Convention will apply internationally to commercial contracts but not to dealings of a personal family or domestic nature whereas the Australian laws apply to all contracts 

There are 10 key points that you need to know about how the amended ETAs may impact on you and your business 

The first 5 are : 

1 validity of electronic transactions 

Under the law a transaction will not be invalid merely because it took place using electronic communications including by email text web chat and VOIP subject to the usual rules about the validity of a contract although parties to a deal can decide to modify this rule 

2 written communications 

Under the law if something has to be given in writing then such information can be given electronically if it will be accessible in future and the other party consents to receipt by such means 

3 signing electronically 

If a document requires a signature then it may. E given electronically provided it is sufficient to identify the person , there is an express intention in respect to the information and the other party gives consent 

4 producing documents 

A person can now produce documents in electronic form provided that the documents will be accessible in the future and the other person gives consent 

5 what is consent ?

This is a difficult issue but essentially the parties are going to be required to seek the consent of both prior to undertaking the use of the electronic communication although consent can be inferred through conduct if not expressly given

If Australia becomes a signatory to the convention then all states and the commonwealth will be well prepared and business people will be able to have certainty as to electronic dealings both here and abroad 

More about the other 5 key points next time 

If you want assistance in preparing for the new regime particularly if you have international contracts then contact 

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Authored by

Raea Khan

Director Lawyer

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Raea Khan Circle
Director Lawyer
Raea Khan

Raea is Managing Director and Principal Lawyer for PBl Law Group. Raea assists clients with major projects, property developments, construction and strata law.

He has worked in Western Australia and Queensland assisting with expansion projects in the energy and resource sector and now predominately advises clients in Strata and Community Association matters.

He is a member of the Australian College of Strata Lawyers where majority of his work is advising developers and owners corporations with dispute related minor and major defects, strata governance and common property litigation. He is proficient at leading negotiations and meetings.

Raea has a particular interest in the commercial aspect of any dispute and always tries to weigh up the risk, reward and benefit of legal proceedings at each different stage.

Raea enjoys all forms of competitive sport, including Crossfit and actively participates in Triathlons, representing Australia as an age group athlete. He was a member of Red Head Surf Lifesaving club.

  • Strata Law
  • Construction & Major Projects
  • Commercial and Business Law
  • Planning & Environment Law