Technological innovations have significantly caused an unprecedented shift from the
orthodox paper-based approach to a continuum of internet transactions. Technology
redefined the status quo of traditional markets and resulted in the international
community and territorial boundaries merging into one population of cyber citizens in
the electronic commerce sphere. These new paradigms give rise to legal challenges
which are precipitated by legal aspects of electronic commerce necessitating for the
legal regulation. The 1996 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on
Electronic Commerce is a global legal framework for legislators. It seeks to address
these issues by transposing common law requirements for validly concluded traditional
contracts into cyber contracts in order to accord cyber contracts the same legal
standing through functional equivalence approach. The Lesotho jurisdiction envisions
to embrace this development through the envisaged Lesotho Electronic Transactions
and Electronic Commerce Bill 2013. This study is the juxtaposition of the Lesotho Bill
and the South Africa’s Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002
on electronic transactions provisions covering the legal recognition of electronic
messages, time of contract formation, time and place of dispatch and receipt of
communication, and the ‘in writing’ and signature requirements which are applied in
online contracts in order to meet the similar common law contract demands for paper
based contracts. The interrogation should indicate whether there are any challenges
occasioned by the Bill in electronic contracting, and the recommended solutions,
considering lessons learned from the South Africa’s ECT Act, and compliance with the
best international practices.


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