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Proposal to accede to UN convention on electronic transactions.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

10 November 112/2008

PROPOSAL TO ACCEDE TO UN CONVENTION ON ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS

Attorney-General Robert McClelland today released a discussion paper on the proposal that Australia accede to the United Nations Convention on the use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.

Developed by the Commonwealth in collaboration with the States and Territories, the paper proposes that amendments be made to Australia’s electronic transactions regime to bring our laws into line with new international standards.

Currently, the Electronic Transactions Acts in each jurisdiction are based on the 1996 Model Law on E-commerce. The UN Convention on Electronic Communications updates the Model Law to address significant advancements in technology.

“The Rudd Government recognises the need to support Australian businesses operating in the global economy. We want to maximise the potential of technology to promote international legal and business engagement,” Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.

“I believe that Australia should be in a position to say to the world that our laws on e-commerce reflect up-to-date internationally recognised legal standards. However, before Australia can accede to the Convention, changes will need to be made to our domestic laws. These changes will update and improve Australia’s electronic transactions laws and lead to greater harmonisation.”

“I thank the States and Territories for their work on the discussion paper and I encourage those with an interest in the area to make a submission on the proposed amendments.”

Eighteen countries have already signed the convention, including Australia’s largest trading partner China.

The discussion paper, and its recommendations, can be accessed at: www.ag.gov.au/ecommercereview.

Media contact: Adam Sims 0419 480 224