Once law reform on the topic of electronic communications had dealt with first-level issues like how to satisfy writing requirements or signature requirements electronically, people started paying attention to harder questions. One of these was how to meet a requirement that a document must be transmitted or stored as an original.
The approach to such questions at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), which has tended to lead world thinking on the subject, is to seek a 'functional equivalent' of what satisfies the requirement on paper. What is the function or policy purpose served by the requirement, . . . [more]