Automated exchange of pre-programmed messages, e-mail communications, electronic management of documents (EMD), Data warehouse, EDI… For the last few years, the business World has been moving to the rhythm of new information technologies. Business law, however, has had difficulties keeping up, even though this virtual world raises important legal concerns and causes many uncertainties.
The increased mobility due to these new transmission and information management techniques suggests a concerted solution, which would take into consideration the evolution in this field. The United Nations’ Model Law on Electronic Commerce of 1996 initiated this process, with many jurisdictions following its lead. Canada is one of these, with notably its Uniform Electronic Commerce Act adopted in 1999 during the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.
The Quebec legislator has also followed this trend. On June 16th, 2000, a draft bill concerning the legal standardization of information technologies was submitted to the National Assembly. This document latter became bill 161, An Act to establish a legal framework for information technologies. But appearances aside, the Quebec legislator seems to have strayed from the philosophy of the U. N. Model Act and, consequently, of the Uniform Act. If this statement holds true, we must fear the legal isolation of Quebec and, therefore, an uncompetitive position within the international marketplace.