The CISG was formed a long time back, even before the electronic era, and hasn’t been ratified consistent with the developments (Jennifer E. Hill, 2003). Its Article 13 related to contract writing includes telex and telegram as acceptable forms of contracting. The clause is however silent on computer based contracts like Internet, e-mail and EDI. The use of CUECIC and CISG for international commercial contracts are limited due to procedural difficulties, particularly in interpreting and applying it by the domestic courts (Charles H. Martin, 2006).
It is obvious that there is no turning back on the Internet, its benefits and the convenience it brings about. The Web and its associated evolving technologies are quickly bringing out a new concept of eCommerce network, which is capable of bringing revolutionary changes to businesses in terms of speed and efficiency (Thomas H. Davenport, 2000). The electronic agreements and contracts would only keep increasing by the day, with more people hooking on to the Internet and taking the electronic mode. Also many of the traditional businesses look to incorporating the electronic technology to cut costs and improve efficiency.
A well accepted social fact is that any technology that brings benefits also brings with it newer forms of fraudulent gains and cheating. The development of the electronic era is no exception to this. Electronic contracts are the foundations of the businesses of today and that of the future. Arbitrating and dispute resolution on e-contracts need to be in the electronic mode that initiated it, to ensure speedy resolution. The ODR holds promise for the future, although it has a lot more to go. We can only hope that as technology advances, creating newer ways and opportunities for the businesses to transact, it also helps in resolving issues.
As for now, the contract acceptance communication via e-mail can also be linked to phone, which means an e-mail sent would also initiate a phone call to the receiving party. It is easily evident that the use of technology in businesses is optimum, while that in dispute resolution is far behind. The approach of the US and the EU with regard to e-contract differ in many ways with the US emphasizing on economic principles and self-regulation while EU is more directed at market harmonisation and consumer protection (Sylvia Mercado Kierkegaard, 2007).
Administration and bureaucracy should pave way for speedy universal reforms to the dispute resolving mechanisms. The fact that implementation of an effective regime to resolve e-contract disputes is difficult and time consuming, is justified. The need of efficient mechanisms to address e-contract issues is now felt more than ever before. It is obvious that this urgent need and the consequences of its absence would be increasingly felt. At least a sense of urgency among all players could help in the development of solutions.
Basically I like researching on topics, particularly those on which I know very little, because I am sure that there would be many things interesting out there. I was a bit skeptical at first, because the topic being related with legal aspects, might not be interesting since it would be difficult to understand. Anything which one finds difficult would soon turn uninteresting. I thought there might not be anything very interesting in legal disputes. When I started researching, I first tried to look into the basic aspects revolving electronic contracts.
As I went deeper into the topic I gradually began to see the difficulties and differences of law enforcement with regard to e-contracts. The fact that the sought information looked obvious and convincing, encouraged me with a passion to seek. However I occasionally found it difficult to understand the clauses and agreements associated with the laws particularly relating to jurisdiction. Although it wasn’t very difficult to locate the sources, most of the sources had broad description of e-commerce and the challenges. I had to search a lot to get to the specifics of e-contract offer and acceptance.
The next time when I research on a topic, I think I could start of confidently rather with an uncertainty, irrespective of the topic. Even if I am assigned a complicated topic, I think I shouldn’t get worried. The research should only include a bit of fundamental grasping to know the basics. I liked analyzing the situation from my own view point, like what generally happens with technological developments, whether it would open doors for possibilities of frauds, the stakes at hand and how it could be resolved etc.. This was perhaps easy because I just needed to think logically to forecast issues and solutions.
The toughest aspect of the assignment was perhaps the laws and regulations mentioned by the various conventions. I wasn’t surprised when I later realized that most of these regulations don’t offer direct solutions, only adding to confusions in several ways.
Charles H. Martin (2005) The UNCITRAL Electronic Contracts Convention: Will it be Used or Avoided?. Florida Coastal School of Law. Pace International Law Review, Vol. 17, [Electronic Version] Downloaded on 18th November 2008 from http://papers. ssrn. com/sol3/papers. cfm? abstract_id=893927
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