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Electronic signatures in Jordan

  • Jordan

    26-04-2020

    The Electronic Transactions Law No. 15 of 2015 (“Law”) essentially defines electronic signatures as “data in the form of letters, numbers, codes, or symbols and which is electronically, or in any other similar mean, included in, affixed to, or associated with an electronic record and is used to authenticate the identity of the signatory and differentiate such individual from others”. Electronic transactions are defined in the Law as “transactions carried out by electronic means”.

    There are three different types of electronic signatures:

    • ordinary electronic signatures
    • protected electronic signatures
    • authenticated electronic signatures

    Electronic signatures will be deemed protected if all of the following conditions are met:

    • if it is unique and distinguishes the signatory from others
    • if it identifies the signatory
    • if the private key (defined in the Law as “a code used to generate electronic signatures for an electronic transaction, information message or electronic document”) is under the control of the signatory upon signing
    • if it cannot be subsequently modified on the electronic document after signing

    Further, electronic signatures will be deemed authenticated if the above-mentioned conditions are fulfilled in addition to being certified by any of the following institutions:

    • an electronic authentication party licensed in Jordan
    • an accredited electronic authentication party
    • any governmental body legally authorised by the Council of Ministries, including ministries, public institutions or municipalities provided that it fulfils the requirements of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission
    • the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology
    • the Central Bank of Jordan, in regards to banking or financial electronic operations

    In the event that the electronic signature is not protected nor authenticated, such ordinary electronic signature will have the same evidential weight of an ordinary document between the parties to the electronic transaction. In the event that an ordinary electronic signature is denied, the party who seeks to rely on such ordinary electronic signature will be required to prove its validity. A protected electronic signature will carry the same evidential weight of an ordinary document and can be relied on as evidence by the parties to the electronic transaction. An authenticated electronic signature will carry the same evidential weight of an ordinary document and can be relied on as evidence by the parties to the electronic transaction, in addition to third parties. It is worth noting that an electronic record that does not carry an electronic signature, will have the same evidential weight of an unsigned document.

    In regards to electronic signatures, the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued instructions on 2 April 2020 stating that electronic signatures will validly pass ordinary general assembly meetings and extraordinary general assembly meetings, in addition to matters resolved at meetings of the board of directors of a company. Electronic signatures can also be used to execute vendor/supplier agreements, sales contracts, documents relating to employee on-boarding and other various legal documents excluding those listed below and any other document otherwise excluded by Jordanian law and regulations.

    It is important to note that the Law does not apply to the following transactions:

    •  establishing and amending a will
    • establishing “Waqf” and amending its conditions (“Waqf” relates to an individual forfeiting profit accumulated from a property they own to a charity)
    • transactions related to movable or immovable properties that require registration, including associated powers of attorney and title deeds and establishing “real rights” other than lease contracts
    • powers of attorney and transaction related to civil status
    • notices related to cancelling or revoking contracts for water and electricity services, health insurance and life insurance
    • court proceedings, judicial notification notices and court resolutions
    • any securities unless otherwise specified under special regulations, in accordance with applicable legislation in force

    Disclaimer

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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