As growth in electronic commerce brings new global market opportunities, new dimensions are added to legal aspects affecting both operators and consumers leading to uncertainties. In particular when making use of an inherently global network such as the Internet, the instant geographic extension of the market without the limitations of national boundaries means every single operator is de facto confronted with a multitude of differing national sets of rules and regulations to which it is bound to comply.
At the Community level the European Commission is already addressing most of these questions in the single market context through a series of directives and proposals which seek to ensure the free circulation of Information Society Services within the Union. At international level the inherently global nature of electronic commerce means that it is becoming increasingly urgent to examine the implications of International Private Law and Jurisdiction in trans-border electronic commerce in a global context.
The purpose of this study is:
to identify the current relevant body of International Private Law and International Private Procedural Law at both international level and national level;
to examine the applicability of the relevant body of law identified in step 1 to online transactions and
to present certain simulations/scenarios/hypotheticals based on concrete examples.
The project will also examine the economic impact of the current legal framework which applies to international electronic commerce in order to identify how the quality of the legal solutions (de lege lata - de lege ferenda) could affect the expected growth in business-to-business and business-to-consumer trans-border electronic commerce.