Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Working Group on International Policy

The Working Group on International Policy met on Saturday morning under the experienced leadership of Hal Burman. He circulated a couple of e-commerce-related documents from the Organization of American States, proposed for the next private international law meeting of the OAS. The two, one from Brazil and one from Canada, dealt with jurisdiction in consumer matters in e-commerce. State Dept would be interested in comments on them. U.S. is inclined to prefer the Canadian proposal, at least as basis for discussion. (There is also an FTC proposal on small claims that is not directed at cyberspace issues.)

The OAS documents are on the Internet Jurisdiction and Global E-Commerce subcommittee's home page, under Other Links of Interest:
http://www.abanet.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=CL320060

Most of the discussion focused on the UNCITRAL Convention on the use of electronic communications in international contracts. The Subcommittee yesterday approved joining the Science and Technology Section in supporting US signature of the Convention. Hal's meeting went in more detail into the signature process and the different considerations that might have to be taken into account in a decision whether to ratify the convention.

The Executive Director, Bill Henning, and the past president, Fred Miller, of NCCUSL were present, along with several veterans of the UETA process, to discuss whether and how NCCUSL might express its views on the Convetion. Bill indicated that NCCUSL would usually restrict itself to saying that the Convention was compatible with state law, rather than actively supporting the Convention.

Pat Fry and others would study the Convention in early May and report to the Committee and to State on their views.

The meeting discussed how the proposal to support signing might be presented to the Council of the Section, and the timing of this in light of NCCUSL's timetable. It was thought that the Committee should take this forward to COuncil, with help from the International Coordinating Committee, without waiting for the NCCUSL review, if Cyberspace had done its own (which we consider ourselves to have done). Council might send views on to State or it might wait to see what NCCUSL had to say - it was certainly of interest to Council whether NCCUSL had concerns. Hal and Henry Gabriel suggested that the Convention was very much like UETA and should not be problematic.

Several members of the Working Group, along with Candace J, were bound from there to the International Coordinating Committee to make their case, which your blogger can now report they did, and their plea was supported at that Committee - particularly in light of the limit of the proposal to support signature only at this stage.

1 comment:

Michael Fleming said...

Thanks John! John joins Roland, Jamie and Vince as one of the posting members to our blog -- It's ever so helpful for those of you in the subcommittee/working group/task force leadership who are so inclined to take on posting about your own group. If you are willing to do a bit of work on this blog for your own subcommittee, please let Michael or Michael know.