The Electronic Trade Documents Act: possession, reliability and international legal harmony

The Act has sought to overcome the “possession problem”, i.e. the common law position that only tangibles are possessable. It sets out the criteria that need to be met by means of a “reliable system” to make electronic documents possessable. In recognition of the importance of harmonisation in this field, the Law Commission aimed for consistency with UNCITRAL’s Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records 2017. The discussion will engage with the following issues:

• The objectives of the Act and the challenges of solving the possession problem.
• The importance of the reliability requirement and, in particular, lessons learnt from the Horizon case.
• The importance of the Act for Trade and Supply Chain Finance.
• How the Act’s central provisions compare to those of UNCITRAL’s MLETR and the importance of worldwide harmonisation in this field.

Chair:The Right Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd
Panellists:The Honourable Mr Justice Peter Fraser - RCJ
Professor Miriam Goldby - Queen Mary University
Professor Sarah Green - The Law Commission
Sean Edwards - Chairman, ITFA

Venue:Centre for Commercial Law Studies,
Queen Mary University of London,
67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
Time:6.30pm - 8.00pm
CPD Points:1.5 CPD points