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Jersey Approves New E-Commerce Law, Participates In Major E-Commerce Event

Robert Lee, Tax-news.com, London

28 November 2000


Jersey is pushing ahead in its drive to become a major offshore jurisdiction for e-commerce. Already one of the top players in the field, there have been further steps taken this month with a new e-commerce law gaining a place on Jersey's statute books and, just last week, the island's participation in a major conference on e-commerce in Dublin, the IBC 3-day convention analysing offshore e-commerce, which attracted business leaders and entrepreneurs from the UK and Europe as well as other offshore jurisdictions.

At the beginning of November, the Electronic Communications (Jersey) Law 2000 received Royal assent and is now a part of the island's law. Following this approval, the law has been registered in the Royal Court and is awaiting a date to be brought into effect. The Jersey Information Society Commission (ISC), which was created by the Jersey States to guide the policy, strategy and funding of the framework for e-commerce and Information Technology on the island, says that the law will be "the primary tool to oversee e-commerce in and from within the Island."

The main areas covered by the new law are: validity of electronic transactions, data and signatures; default rules for contract formation; admissibility of electronic evidence; promotion of electronic government and protection of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in respect of civil and criminal liability.

Peter Griffiths, Chairman of the Jersey Information Society Commission, commented on the latest legislation: 'The electronic commerce legislation is a highly flexible, enabling Law designed to accommodate all aspects of e-commerce. We are very pleased that the Law has received Royal assent and is due to go imminently before the States. It is just one, but one very important, part of our total strategy to provide the best possible environment in Jersey for the conduct of e-business.'

Mr Griffiths also promoted Jersey as a e-commerce location at the IBC Offshore E-Commerce event in Dublin last week. He gave an in-depth evaluation of the current e-business climate and explored the advantages of offshore jurisdictions in the e-commerce race, chairing an 'Offshore E-commerce Panel', investigating the impact of e-commerce regulation in offshore jurisdictions and debating solutions to comply with international regulatory changes.

Before the conference, Mr Griffiths said: 'From the first conference of this kind, held in New York last November, "Offshore e-commerce" has become the definitive event for offshore jurisdictions. We are delighted to be taking part and will be widely publicising the message that Jersey is playing the fullest part and pursuing every opportunity to be the leader in offshore e-commerce.'

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