Electronic Signatures in Law

Provisional cover for Electronic Signatures in Law. 4th edition

Electronic Signatures in Law
Stephen Mason
4th edition

New 5th edition now published

Free to read online and download now from OBserving Law in the SAS Humanities Digital Library

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Stephen Mason

Stephen Mason is a leading authority on electronic signatures and electronic evidence, having advised global corporations and governments on these topics. He is also the founder and editor of the international open source journal the Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review. Stephen is an Associate Research Fellow at the IALS and Visiting Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Tartu, Estonia.

This fourth edition of the well-established practitioner text sets out what constitutes an electronic signature; the form an electronic signature can take; and discusses the issues relating to evidence – illustrated by analysis of relevant case law and legislation from a wide range of common law and civil law jurisdictions.

Electronic Signatures in Law - open access online and print

Available now

ISBN 978-1-911507-04-8 (hardback edition) £60 - Order online

ISBN 978-1-911507-00-0 (paperback edition) £40 - Order online

ISBN 978-1-911507-02-4 (Kindle version) £20 - Order online

ISBN 978-1-911507-01-7 Open Access PDF version freely available for anyone in the world to use from OBserving Law in the SAS Humanities Digital Library

This book is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-
NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license

DOI 10.14296/117.9781911507017

Book Review

Hector L. MacQueen
Scottish Law Commission
University of Edinburgh Law School, Edinburgh, UK

Computer Law & Security Review
Volume 34, Issue 1, February 2018, Pages 186-187

Electronic signatures are ubiquitous. Every person that uses e-mail, uses an electronic signature. Every person that uses a cash card, debit card or credit card uses a form of electronic signature. The fourth edition of this book provides an up-date on the European Union Regulation that repeals the EU Directive in electronic signatures, together with an up-date of the case law across the world. It provides a practical guide to understanding electronic signatures, setting out an analysis of what constitutes an electronic signature, the form an electronic signature can take, the forgery of electronic signatures, and issues relating to evidence, formation of contract and negligence.

The case law on electronic signatures covers a vast range of law, including: employment, family, divorce proceedings, formation of contracts, insurance, e-wills, public administration, judicial use, Statute of Frauds, property transactions, local government planning, criminal procedure, and corporations.

The text includes case law from 38 jurisdictions: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England & Wales, Estonia, European Patent Office, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States of America and Zimbabwe.


  1. The signature
  2. International initiatives
  3. The practical issues in using electronic signatures in different jurisdictions
  4. The European Union
  5. England & Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland
  6. Introduction to the main forms of electronic signature
  7. Electronic sound
  8. The ‘click wrap’ and ‘browse wrap’ methods of indicating intent
  9. A Personal Identification Number
  10. Typing a name in an electronic document
  11. The name in an e-mail address
  12. A manuscript signature that has been scanned
  13. Biodynamic version of a manuscript signature
  14. Digital signatures
  15. Liability and digital signatures
  16. Evidence and digital signatures
  17. Data protection

Fourth edition published by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies for the
SAS Humanities Digital Library, School of Advanced Study, University of London,

Page last updated: 3rd August 2021