Are electronic signatures legal in Ireland?

Ireland has recognised electronic signatures since 2000, with the Electronic Commerce Act, and now adheres to regulations set by eIDAS which came into play July 2016. Giving businesses the option to use electronic signatures whilst trading.

Legal Model

Ireland’s legal model is a tiered one. This means that Qualified Electronic Signature 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 additional evidence to support it.

Legal Classification

Ireland 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.

Full Summary

Under Irish laws a written signature is not always needed for a contracts to be seen as valid – contracts are seen as such if legally able individuals have reached an agreement. This can done by agreeing verbally, electronically or through physical methods.

Since July 2016, the eIDAS regulation has meant that all companies in the EU comply with each other’s e-Signature regulations. standardising them across Europe.

Disclaimer

The information in the legality guides are for general information purposes only and are not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing electronic signature may change quickly, so Signable cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. If you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.
Last updated on: January 2020