E-commerce and Law Reform

Since 2000, the UNCTAD eCommerce and Law Reform Programme has supported developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in their efforts to establish legal regimes that address the issues raised by the electronic nature of ICTs to ensure trust in online transactions, ease the conduct of domestic and international trade online, and offer legal protection for users and providers of e-commerce and e-government services.

UNCTAD helps to build the capacity of policymakers and lawmakers at national and regional levels in understanding the underlying issues underpinning e-commerce. The assistance targets, in particular, ministry officials in charge of law reform who need to learn more about the legal implications of ICTs; parliamentarians who have to examine new cyberlaws; and legal professionals who enforce new legislation.

The programme is supported through funding provided by the Government of Finland.


Key Issues Addressed:


  • Electronic Transactions and Electronic Signatures
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Consumer Protection
  • Computer Crime
  • Intellectual Property
  • Competition
  • Taxation
  • Information Security


Services Offered:


Delivery of capacity-building training workshops

Training courses on the Legal Aspects of E-Commerce are available in English, Spanish and French. They are delivered through:

  • To enhance knowledge of e-commerce legal issues
  • To prepare lawmakers and government officials for the drafting of legal frameworks
  • To discuss e-commerce legislation harmonization within a region
  • Distance learning using the UNCTAD Train for Trade platform.
  • On site workshops to deepen understanding of complex legal issues

Assistance with preparing and enacting legal frameworks includes

  • Conducting inventories and reviews of legislation that affect the use of ICTs
  • Drafting legislation harmonized with regional and international legal frameworks
  • Validation round tables of national stakeholders for the public and private sectors to discuss and finalize draft legal frameworks
  • Briefing Parliamentarians to facilitate law enactment

Comparative regional reviews of e-commerce legislation harmonization aim to:

  • Assess the status of cyber-laws in a particular region by surveying the law reform process
  • Provide recommendations for further harmonization of legislation, where required




Recent publications

Global Cyberlaw Tracker

E-Commerce Legislation Worldwide