This course is discontinued

Syllabus/achievement requirements

Achievement requirements



  • Good knowledge of the principal legal issues that emerge from commercial Internet-based transactions. These issues include the formation of electronic and web contracts, the creation of virtual enterprises, intermediary liability, and the requirement for system and transactional security, and issues of jurisdiction and applicable law.
  • Good knowledge of key EU rules addressing the above issues.
  • Knowledge of the relevant legal position in certain countries outside the EU, particularly the United States.


  • Elucidate the principal EU rules governing the above issues.
  • Elucidate the limitations of these rules.
  • Critically evaluate the assumptions upon which the rules are based.

General competence

  • Understanding of the principal characteristics of commercial Internet-based commerce.
  • Understanding of the ways in which such commerce poses difficulties for application of traditional legal doctrine.
  • Understanding of weaknesses and strengths of EU law on point.
  • Ability to suggest and assess alternative forms of regulation to traditional law.


Main Literature

The required reading list is comprised of (i) main literature, composed of selected chapters from two books, and a set of journal articles which are all available online, though some only through the UIO library webpages, and (ii) regulatory instruments, composed of relevant EU directives and international legal instruments which will be available in the compendium “Electronic Commerce Law: Regulatory Instruments”.

Book chapters

Edwards L. & Waelde, C. (eds.) (2009), Law and the Internet:

  • chapter 1, Edwards, L., “The Fall and Rise of Intermediary Liability Online” (42 pages)
  • chapter 2, Riefa, C. & Hörnle, J., “The Changing Face of Electronic Consumer Contracts in the Twenty-first Century: Fit for Purpose?” (32 pages)


Robertson, P. et al, “Internet Payments”, in Brindle, M & Cox, R. (eds.) (2010) Law of Bank Payments, 4th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, Chapter 5, p. 299-391 (92 pages)


The following journal articles and reports are also available online:

Andrews S, 'Who Holds the Key? - A Comparative Study of US and European Encryption Policies', 2000(2) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT) , available at (20 pages)

Baistrocchi P.A., “Liability of Intermediary Service Providers in the EU Directive on Electronic Commerce”, Computer & High Technology Law Journal, 2002, Vol. 19, p. 111-130,

Boss, “Electronic Contracting: Legal Problem or Legal Solution”, in United Nation, Harmonised Development of Legal and Regulatory Systems for E-commerce in Asia and the Pacific, 2004, Part II, Chapter IV, pp. 125-148, also available at (24 pages)

Brownsword, R., Howells, G., "Europe's E-Commerce Directive - A Too Hasty Legislative Rush to Judgment?" [2000] 11(1) Journal of Law, Information and Science p. 77, also available at (11 pages)

Hoeren, T., “Law, Ethics and Electronic Commerce”, in International Review of Information Ethics,vol. 3 (06/2005), p.46-53, also available at (8 pages)

Kunz, C.L. et al, “Browse-Wrap Agreements: Validity of Implied Assent in Electronic Form Agreements”, The Business Lawyer, Vol. 59, No. 1, November 2003, p. 279-312, Also available at (34 pages)

Nuth, “Making Sense of Digital Cash”, in Dag Wiese Schartum and Anne Gunn B. Bekken (eds.), Yulex 2007, Unipub, Oslo, 2007, pp. 67-80, also available in full text here (14 pages).

OECD Guidelines for security of information systems. Available at (15 pages)

Reed, C., “What is a Signature?”, 2000 (3) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology. New citation as at 1/1/04:, (22 pages)

UNCTAD, “Laws and contracts in an e-commerce environment”, ch. 8, in UNCTAD, Information Economy Report 2006, p.299-314, available online at (16 pages)

Weitzenboeck, “Electronic agents and the formation of contracts”, International Journal of Law and Information Technology Vol. 9, Issue 3, Autumn 2001, pp. 204-234, also available at (31 pages)

Winn, J.K. & Haubold, J., “Electronic Promises: Contract Law Reform and E-Commerce in a Comparative Perspective”, European Law Review (2002), Vol. 27, Issue: 5, p. 567-588, also available at (31 pages)

Winn, J. & Webber, M., “The Impact of EU Unfair Contract Terms Law on U.S. Business-to-Consumer Internet Merchants”, in The Business Lawyer, Vol. 62, November 2006, p. 1-20, available at (20 pages)

The following journal articles are available via the UIO library:

The following chapters and articles are available from the University Library by using the "Oria" online system. You may search for journals (printed and e-journals) by using "Oria". For more information, go to the English home page of the Faculty of Law Library

Akester, “Authorship and authenticity in cyberspace”, Computer Law and Security Report Vol. 20, Issue 6, November-December 2004, pp. 436-444, available at UIO from (9 pages).

Halpin, R. & Moore, R., “Developments in electronic money regulation – the Electronic Money Directive: A better deal for e-money issuers?, Computer Law & Security Review 25(209) 563-568, available at (6 pages)

Howells, G., “The Rise of European Consumer Law — Whither National Consumer Law?”, 2006, Sydney Law Review, Vol. 28 p. 63-88 (26 pages)

Joint, A. Et al, “Hey, you, get off of that cloud?”, in Computer Law & Security Review Vol. 25, Issue 3, August 2009, p. 270-274, available at (5 pages)

Joint, A., & Baker, E., “Knowing the past to understand the present1 – issues in the contracting for cloud based services”, Computer Law & Security Review Vol. 27, Issue 4, August 2011, p. 407-415, available from UIO at (9 pages)

Luyatt, J.J., “A Tale of Regulation in the European Union and Japan: Does characterizing the Business of Stored-Value Cards as a Financial Activity Impact Its Development?” 2009 Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal Association Vol. 18, No. 3, p. 525-546, avb online at UIO from Oria (22 pages)

Ramberg, C.H., “The E-Commerce Directive and Formation of Contract in a Comparative Perspective”, Global Jurist Advances, Vol. 1, Issue 2 (2001), Article 3, available at (26 pages)

Regulatory Instruments

The following directives/decisions are available in the “Regulatory Instruments” -compendium available for purchase in the bookstore Akademika (Domus Nova, St. Olavs plass 5, entry from Pilestredet). Bring your student identification card when buying compendiums.

Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products, OJ L 210, 07/08/1985, pp. 0029 – 0033.

Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts, OJ L 095, 21/04/1993, pp. 0029 - 0034.

Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts, OJ L 144, 04/06/1997, pp. 0019 – 0027.

REGULATION (EU) No 910/2014 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC

Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market ('Directive on electronic commerce'), OJ L 178, 17/07/2000, pp. 0001 – 0016.

Directive 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services and amending Council Directive 90/619/EEC and Directives 97/7/EC and 98/27/EC, OJ L 271, 09/10/2002, pp. 0016 – 0024.

Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98//27/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (“Unfair Commercial Practices Directive”), OJ L 149, 11/06/2005, pp. 0022 – 0039.

Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 concerning misleading and comparative advertising, OJ L 376/21, 27/12/2006.

Directive 2006/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions (recast), 30/06/2006, pp. 0001 – 0022 and 0057.

Directive 2007/64/EC the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on payment services in the internal market amending Directives 97/7/EC, 2002/65/EC, 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 97/5/EC (‘Payment Service Directive’), OJ L 319, 5/12/2007, pp. 0001 – 0036.

Directive 2009/110/EC of 16 September 2009, on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions amending Directives 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 2000/46/EC.

97/489/EC: Commission Recommendation of 30 July 1997 concerning transactions by electronic payment instruments and in particular the relationship between issuer and holder (Text with EEA relevance), OJ L 208, 02/08/1997, pp. 0052 – 0058.

UNCITRAL Model law on electronic commerce.

2001 UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures (Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembley).

2006 UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts

Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights, amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 85/577/EEC and Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, OJ L 304/64, 22/11/2011.

Published Nov. 18, 2014 10:21 AM - Last modified Aug. 10, 2015 1:47 PM