HC Deb 17 December 2001 vol 377 cc106-7W
Linda Perham

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the need for international agreements on the practice of e-commerce. [22299]

Mr. Alexander

The Government believe it is important that we have a clear, coherent, pro-competitive and predictable international framework for e-commerce and are working for this at European and global levels through our bilateral and multilateral channels. To be effective, this work needs the involvement of Governments, providers and consumers. The Government therefore believe that co-regulation is often the most appropriate way to address many international e-commerce issues, such as cross-border Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and mutual recognition between e-commerce codes of conduct.

The UK is a party to a number of bilateral and multilateral arrangements which apply to commerce generally including e-commerce

Multilaterally, the Hague Conference on Private International Law is discussing a possible convention on jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters and this would cover e-commerce unless a decision is taken to exclude such transactions. The UK is playing a full part in these negotiations.