Several years ago the Electronic Transactions Act came into force heralding in a bright new future. A future where individuals and businesses would be able to dispense with the use of paper and be more environmentally unfriendly by recording their agreements electronically. Rightly or wrongly, my team and I always took the view that you could use email to complete an agreement and that the agreement was binding once an acceptance email was received. Others disagreed with us. Not as an example of we told you so but Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Act has recently confirmed that we were right all along. The Amendment Act clarifies when the acceptance of an offer occurs by email. Now, acceptance of an offer by electronic communication will be effective from when it is received, unless the parties agree otherwise or another Act provides differently. So now that is cleared up we can get back to arguing about other important matters including whether an offer can be withdrawn by other electronic means such as instant messaging.
By Chris Patterson, 2014
By Chris Patterson