Are electronic signatures legal in Singapore?
Singapore’s legal model is a tiered one. This means that Qualified Electronic Signatures are seen as a legal type of e-signature. This doesn’t mean that a non-QES e-Signature can’t be submitted in court, but it will need extra evidence to support it.
Singapore operates a Common Law system, which is based on:
- Judicial decisions are seen as binding
- Laws aren’t always of a written structure
- Few provisions are hinted at into the contract, by law
- Generally, everything is permitted that isn’t expressly prohibited by law
Few provisions are implied into a contract under the common law system – so it’s important to cover all the terms governing the relationship between the parties to a contract in the contract itself. This usually means that contracts are typically longer than one in a civil law country.
Singapore law highlights that a handwritten signature isn’t always needed for a contract to be considered credible, and that contracts can’t be refused for simply being electronic. They’ll usually be seen as such as long as legally able individuals have reached an agreement. This can be by verbally agreeing, electronically or physically signing something. And The Electronic Transactions Act 2010 states that electronic contracts can’t be dismissed for being electronic, however, they may need additional evidence to support these types of documents in court.