Are electronic signatures legal in Mexico?
Mexico’s legal model is an open one. This means that unlike a tiered model (that see’s Qualified Electronic Signatures as a legitimate form of e-signature), there aren’t any conditions for electronic signature types. And so a QES won’t receive legal status.
Mexico operates Civil Law systems, which are arranged according to a plan or a system and come from Roman law. Civil law systems are based on:
- Generally a written constitution based on specific codes (e.g. civil code, codes covering corporate law, administrative law, tax law and constitutional law) preserving basic rights and duties
- There is little scope for judge-made law in civil, criminal and commercial courts (only legislative enactments are considered binding for all)
- In some civil law systems, e.g. Germany, writings of legal scholars have significant influence on the courts
- Courts specific to the underlying codes – there are therefore usually separate constitutional court, administrative court and civil court systems that opine on consistency of legislation and administrative acts with and interpret that specific code;
- Less freedom of contract – many provisions are implied into a contract by law and parties cannot contract out of certain provisions.
A civil law system is generally more prescriptive than a common law system.
There are a number of provisions implied into a contract under the civil law system – this will often result in a contract being shorter than one in a common law country.
Mexican law highlights that electronic contracts usually be seen as such as long as legally able individuals have reached an agreement. This can be by agreeing verbally, electronically or by physically signing something (Section 1803 of the Mexican Civil Code).
Under Section 89 and 1205 of the Commerce Code and 40 of the Federal Administrative Litigation Procedural Law, it states that electronic documents can be submitted as evidence to support the legitimacy of a contract.