By Dr AbdelGadir Warsama, Legal Counsel
Electronic commerce is increasing and many people are eagerly looking for getting benefits from this new commercial activity. For many shoppers, they prefer to have a worldwide shop wherein they can find whatever they are looking for, without moving from their homes. This is the trend nowadays, as the new IT communications, makes the world narrow and squeeze all in a platform in front of every person using available and accessible IT means.
Based on this new culture, new mind and attitude the use of modern means of communication are easily available everywhere. This include, among other things, electronic mail and electronic data and others that are used for international trade transactions. As clear from many sources, this has been rapidly increasing and is expected to develop further as the internet is widely accessible, to anyone at any time.
The new means of communications have made our live easier and more flexible. However, this means of communication in the form of paperless messages may be hindered by many legal obstacles and as consequence the uncertainty as to their legal effect and validity. This, of course, is coming from the fact that we are taking in consideration the classical rules of evidence. The classical evidence rules we are referring for, are deeply rooted since long time, before the IT revolution era.
The UNCITRAL Model Law is intended to offer a set of internationally acceptable rules as to how a number of such legal obstacles may be removed, how a more secure legal environment may be created for what has become known as “electronic commerce” and “electronic transactions”.
The decision by UNCITRAL to formulate a specific model legislation to regulate and legalize the electronic commerce was taken in response to the fact that in a number of countries the existing legislation governing the communications and the storage of information is inadequate or, if we could say, is outdated because it does not contemplate the use of electronic commerce. This comes from the fact that, in certain cases, the existing national legislations impose certain restrictions on the use of the new modern means of communications.
The UNCITRAL Model Law may also, be taken, to help to remedy certain disadvantages that stem from the fact that inadequate legislation at the national level creates obstacles to international trade. Uncertainty about, the national legal regimes and other procedural techniques governing the use of such communication techniques may contribute to limiting the extent to which businesses may access international markets. The interaction between states and the globalization atmosphere, are all looking for more trade links between all parts of the world.
The main objectives of the UNCITRAL Model Law, which include enabling or facilitating the use of electronic commerce and providing equal treatment to users of paper-based documentation and to users of computer-based information, are essential for fostering economy and efficiency in international trade. Incorporating the new legal principles and the procedures prescribed in the UNCITRAL Model Law in all countries is required urgently by all countries. The appropriate actions required are through imposing certain national legislation for adopting the new situations where parties who opt to use electronic means of communication can find a legal path for their transactions.
Enacting a national law in each country would create the necessary legal environment. This will definitely help electronic commerce contracts and or other electronic transactions between all on remote basis for the benefit of all. This activity, shows the importance of the law in promoting trade for the development of the society.