The Russian Federation is the fourth country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (the ECC). The UNCITRAL press release gives the details.
The other countries now in the Convention, and among which it is in force, are Singapore, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Russia’s ratification is a step towards spreading the benefits around, and several other countries are moving towards ratifying too.
Should Canada be interested? The Uniform Law Conference discussed the policy questions about how it might be implemented here, in 2010, and adopted a uniform implementation statute in 2011. Perhaps the main ‘barrier’ to Canadian interest is that we trade so much with the US, whose laws are much like ours (and the Convention’s) on the use of e-communications. Thus we don’t need the Convention to resolve questions of form or medium with US contracts.
Not all countries we trade with have modernized their law on e-commerce, though. Would it be an advantage for Canada to join the Convention to show that (a) a country that knows how to do e-commerce is comfortable with it, and (b) we are interested in trading electronically with the world?
Can you think of any disadvantages to a Canadian ratification?