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Jersey: E-Commerce

Legislation

Electronic Communications (Jersey) Law 2000

This Law entered into force on the January 1, 2001 and was promoted by the Jersey Information Society Commission. It provides a suitable environment for the conduct of e-business. The Law covers the following:

  • Legal certainty in respect of certain aspects of electronic transactions; Default rules governing electronic contracts have been included as a fall back and can be varied by the parties. These default rules specify, for example, the time of dispatch of an electronic communication. In the absence of a clear agreement between contracting parties, these rules are important in deciding when and where an electronic contract was concluded. Electronic contracts are given legal recognition;
  • The admissibility into evidence of information in electronic form (including electronic transactions, electronic records and electronic signatures authenticating such communications or records);
  • The removal of obstacles in other legislation to the use of electronic communications and storage in place of paper;
  • Flexibility in application and approach provided by Regulations made by the States, Orders made by the Industries Committee and by Rules of Court.

Protection is provided for ISPs in the form of defences to civil and criminal actions.

New Telecommunications Law

Jersey's telecoms market is being opened up to competition. The government is implementing the recommendations of the JISC (see above) with progressive liberalisation of the telecommunications market through a number of mechanisms, including the introduction of competitive carriers, the establishment of an independent regulator and the adoption of the UK regulatory and licencing model. All of these initiatives are reflected in a Telecommunications Law, which has been approved by the States of Jersey. The Telecommunications (Jersey) Law 2002 was registered on January 4, 2002.

A central purpose of the Law was to abolish the formerly exclusive privilege of the States of Jersey in the telecommunications sector, and to introduce competition in both fixed and mobile telephony. The Law requires providers to hold a licence issued by the JCRA to operate a telecommunications service in Jersey, and currently the JCRA issues three classes of licences, depending on the operator’s market power. Alternatively, a General Class Licence may apply.

Gambling (Remote Gambling Disaster Recovery) (Jersey) Regulations 2008

The Gambling (Remote Gambling Disaster Recovery) (Jersey) Regulations 2008 were the first step in the legislative programme of modernisation of Jersey's gambling laws, and represented the first 'new' gambling regulations to be passed by the States Assembly (the Island's parliament) in 42 years.

The new regulations came into force on January 22, 2008, and allow companies who are licensed to operate remote gambling services in other jurisdictions to place their disaster recovery, or backup systems, in Jersey and, in the event of disaster, operate temporarily from Jersey.

Intellectual Property

In December 2007, Jersey's then Minister for Economic Development, Senator Philip Ozouf, launched a public consultation on the modernisation and expansion of Jersey’s intellectual property laws. The consultation process followed a meeting hosted by the Minister with leading organisations in the fields of e-commerce and intellectual property. The meeting was held to explore the opportunities arising from the development of improved intellectual property and e-commerce legislation, and to establish whether such development would help to drive economic activity.

New draft legislation unveiled at the time is designed to bring Jersey into line with the law in other jurisdictions, and means the Island will be able to sign up to international conventions on copyright and related rights.

The Draft laws put out to consultation included:

  • Copyright (Jersey) Law 200 - dealing with the right of the author, composer, artist or creator of an original work to prevent another from copying it. Copyright protects material, such as literature, art, music, sound recordings, films and broadcasts.
  • Design Right (Jersey) Law 200 - dealing with the right of the designer to prevent others from reproducing the design. Design refers to the visual appearance or eye appeal of products.
  • Performers’ Protection (Jersey) Law 200 - dealing with the right of the performer to prevent another from copying, recording, broadcasting, or making available a qualifying performance.

Launching the consultation, Senator Ozouf explained that:

“Updating our copyright laws is a key driver in diversifying Jersey’s economy for the future. The creation of a vibrant e-business sector, underpinned by robust intellectual property legislation, will create a new sector, boost economic growth and create new jobs. The commercial sector and the existing financial and legal services will also benefit from this development. We are publishing 280 pages of legislation for consultation, making this a landmark exercise.”

The consultation closed on 7 March 2008 and further drafting of the three laws was carried out to take account of the consultation reponse. The three laws were then combined into the 'draft Intellectual Property (Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law and are referred to as 'IPURL'. The law was lodged for consideration during 2011 and came into force on 18 December 2012.

 

 

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