The Electronic Transaction Act of Mauritius gives legal sanctity to the use of digital signatures and digital certificates

In non-electronic environment

  • Signature represents the person’s identity
  • In electronic environment
    • No paper, no pen
    • Parties may not even meet each other
  • Solution
    • Use of digital signatures
      • It gives legal sanctity to records, files or documents that are retained in electronic form.

The ETA deals with

  • electronic transactions which involve the transmission or conveyance of records or documents by electronic means and
  • the use of electronic signatures for authentication purposes.

Section 5: “No record or signature shall be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the ground that it is in electronic form.”

Sections 10 to 14 provide for the formation and validity of electronic contracts.  Section 10, in particular, provides that no contract shall be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the ground that an electronic record was used in its formation.

Sections 18 -39 deal with the use of electronic & digital signatures

The ETA adopts a three-tiered approach to electronic signatures based on a distinction between “simple” electronic signatures, secure electronic signatures and secure digital signatures.

At the first tier, the ETA legally recognises all types of electronic signatures, regardless of technology used.

A secure electronic signature makes use of a prescribed security procedure or a commercially reasonable agreed to by the parties involved.

A secure digital signature is defined as an electronic signature that uses an asymmetric cryptosystem.