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MoJ sets up expert working group on electronic signatures

The Ministry of Justice has established an expert working group to seek ways to improve standards, reliability and security in electronic signatures and other means of legally executing documents.

This followed a recommendation by the Law Commission in March 2020, which then Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland accepted showed formal primary legislation was not necessary to reinforce the legal validity of electronic signatures.

He also though accepted the recommendation to form the working group saying: “Notwithstanding the position in law, there are issues on the security and technology of electronic signatures that require further consideration from suitably experienced experts."

The group is chaired by Mr Justice Fraser under the oversight of Lord Justice Birss, and assisted by Professor Sarah Green of the Law Commission.

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It aims to produce an interim report by the end of the year, setting out areas to be explored further and those that may require public consultation

Terms of reference include best practice guidance for the use of electronic signatures, analysis of different technologies’ security and reliability and investigating solutions and safeguards for video-witnessing of deeds.

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