The Digital Signature Legislation

Document integrity and identity of the signer

Electronic signature legislation in the Netherlands and Europe

The Netherlands has been implementing the European directive on digital signatures for years. Article 15a of the Civil Code Book 3 indicates that an electronic signature may have the same legal consequences as a handwritten signature.

The European eIDAS Regulation aims, with regard to eSignatures, to simplify the use of electronic signatures by establishing a clear signature framework for signature creation and verification Speak. As of 1 July 2016, the European eIDAS Regulation will be in force.

eIDAS Article 25: Legal effects of electronic signatures

‘The legal effect of an electronic signature and its admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings should not be denied purely on the grounds that the signature is electronic or not to the requirements for qualified electronic signatures.”

(source: Article 25(1 eIDAS)

By the above article, each electronically signed document is permissible as a burden of proof and will be especially important during a dispute how strong the burden of proof is. An advanced electronic signature meets higher requirements regarding the burden of proof.

eIDAS Article 26: Requirements for advanced electronic signatures

An advanced electronic signature meets the following requirements: it is uniquely linked to the signatory;

  1. it makes it possible to identify the signatory;
  2. it shall be created with data for the creation of electronic signatures which the signatory, with a high level of trust, can use under his sole control, and
  3. it shall be attached in such a way that any subsequent modification of the data can be traced;

(source: Article 26 eIDAS)

Do you still have questions about the electronic signature legislation after reading the explanation above? Don’t hasitate to contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.

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