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JILT 2000 (1) - John Dickie

Ian Lloyd

E-Commerce and the Law
Volume 7, No 4

Edinburgh Press 2000 £9.95
81pp ISBN 0 7486 1446 X

Reviewed by
John Dickie
University of Warwick



1. Introduction

Part of the Hume Papers on Public Policy, this book ranges widely, delving into tax, contracts, trademarks, ISP liability, and cryptography, within the broad frames of the UK, the EU and the globe.

It is a timely contribution in an area which seems underdeveloped in terms of academic literature, at least in Europe.

2. Rapid changes in the field

Perhaps one of the reasons for that underdevelopment is the speed at which the field changes (and authors' fear of the same), and this text suffers as any must on that score.

Although it is as up-to-date as can be expected, noting for example the December 1999 political agreement on the EU Draft Directive on Electronic Commerce, the text seems dated in parts, for example the section on trademarks does not describe the ICANN dispute resolution process which began to spew cases out in early 2000.

3. Challenges for E-Commerce

Yet this is minor carping over an author whose time-frame runs from Faraday's invention of electricity, to bicycle deliveries, through to WTO riots in Seattle. Lloyd's approach is never myopic, he notes that 96% of the world's population do not use the Net and that existing law can cope adequately in many instances with the challenges posed by electronic commerce.

The width of Lloyd's work has its downside, for instance a brevity which sometimes left this reviewer wanting more. In particular, many of the substantive chapters centre around the problems caused by the grafting of the borderless Net onto bordered law, and the conclusion would have benefitted from a more detailed synthesis of this fundamental conflict, but again this is just carping.

4. Conclusion

In all, Lloyd's book is a considered and well-written introduction to the E-Commerce's interface with law, as at the end of 1999.

Further details about this book can be obtained from:
The David Hume Institute,
21 George Square,
Edinburgh, EH8 9LD.
Telephone:0131 650 4633. Email:
Web site: <>

This is a Book Review published on 30 June 2000.

Citation: Dickie J, 'E-Commerce and the Law', written by I Lloyd, Book Review, 2000 (2) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). <>. New citation as at 1/1/04: <>

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