International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Fine-Tuning the E-commerce Law of the United Arab Emirates: Achieving the Most Secure Cyber Transactions in the Middle East
Stephen E. Blythe

The first objective is to give a brief description of the evolution of electronic signature (“E-signature”) law. There have been three generations of E-signature law since the first E-signature statute was enacted in 1995. These three successive generations emphasized, respectively: exclusive recognition of public key infrastructure (“PKI”) technology and the digital signature; technological neutrality, with all types of E-signatures and technologies recognized; and a hybrid perspective which recognized all types of E-signatures, with a preference shown for PKI in admission of E-signatures and electronic documents (“E-documents”) into evidence. The second objective is to cover the major points of the Electronic Commerce Law (“ECL”) of the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”). The ECL’s distinguishing attributes include: a convenient specification in its Preamble of all other statutes affected by it; a statement that any issues not addressed by the ECL are controlled by other bodies of law; its definition of a secure E-document; a provision that international contracting parties may agree to use a specific Certification Service Provider (“CSP”), or to use a specific category of CSP’s; provisions concerning electronic contracts (“E-contracts”) automatically made by pre-programmed computers; the mandatory deportation of a foreign citizen convicted of a computer crime; and the provision that invocation of a penalty for a computer crime will not prevent a more stringent penalty from being imposed pursuant to another law. The third objective is to make recommendations for refinement of the ECL: (1) deletion of all exclusions from coverage (except for negotiable instruments); and (2) addition of: consumer protections, several new computer crimes, mandatory E-government, information technology courts, and explicit long-arm jurisdiction of those courts.

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