E-commerce bill prepared to govern internet activity

Stabroek News
May 14, 2003

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An E-Commerce bill to govern commercial activities conducted on the internet has been drafted by the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.

This bill is patterned after similar legislation passed in the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. According to Tim Greene, a ministry official, these are all partially based on UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) model law.

Greene read the contents of the bill during the second day of the Guyana Bar Association’s Law Conference held on Sunday at the Tower Hotel.

The bill sets out to establish and clarify the legal aspects of electronic commerce and to encourage growth and to protect internet consumers through regularisation of certain issues. But the bill will not apply to wills, trusts, court orders and powers of attorneys.

A section of the bill deals with the legal recognition and functional equivalency of electronic communications, signatures, contracts and related matters. The bill stipulates that electronic signatures will not be denied admissibility and evidential weight.

The bill will also seek to establish an E-Commerce Advisory Board which will advise the Minister of Tourism on “e-matters”.

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