Houston Journal of International Law
A comparative analysis of electronic contract formation law in the United States, Mexico, and the international arena is necessary to understand the evolution and future of electronic contracting. Using new communication technologies, such as developmental instruments of electronic commerce, has clear benefits, but also brings risks and uncertainties to electronic contracting. Although modern laws tend toward uniformity in modern transactions, certain aspects may still cause controversy. In purely electronic transactions, the most important legal determination concerns the establishment of an offer and an acceptance, memorialized through electronic messages absent written documentation and the human intervention of an automatic exchange. Consequently, it is necessary to find the adequate juridical solutions that will reduce, if not eliminate, any risks and uncertainties now inherent in electronic transactions.
In American law, the fundamental principles of contract formation can be found in the Uniform Commercial Code, although other laws have been enacted to further regulate electronic transactions. Mexican law is codified in the Código de Comercio, the Código Civil Federal, and other related statutes. Finally, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods governs international contract law. Although modern laws tend toward uniformity, certain aspects of contract law remain controversial, and therefore encourage review. Comparative analysis of the laws is necessary to keep pace with recent technological changes and to find adequate juridical solutions.
Roberto Rosas, Comparative Study of the Formation of Electronic Contracts in American Law with References to International and Mexican Law, 26 Hous. J. Int’l L. 63 (2003).