E-confidence: Offer and acceptance in online contracting
AbstractOnline contracting, as a focal point of electronic commercial transactions, has been developing since the 1990s. Recent international legislation, namely the 2005 United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (the UN Convention) is a significant legal achievement. However, the validity and effectiveness of electronic offer and acceptance is still an issue for debate. This paper aims to seek answers to how law makers may meet the challenge of regulating electronic contracting, and what future improvements that the UN Convention may need to make to boost confidence of contracting online. The paper will introduce the concept and formation of electronic contracts; analyse the current legislative environment of electronic contacting in the international organisations, EU, US and China; discuss the obstacles that electronic contracting has faced; and propose a solution to remove its legal uncertainty.