The electronic signature or e-signature is covering a wide range of solutions and technologies which are utilized for the creation of signatures in electronic means right from the creation of digital signatures to the simple images linked or attached to documentation in electronic form.
The technology of digital signatures was invented in the year 1970 which gained popularity in countries such as the USA and European Nations very quickly. The digital or electronic signatures were considered as the best solution for the replacement of written or penned signatures as it offers high security.
The Legality of Electronic Signatures in Spain
Like other European countries, Spain has also recognized the use of electronic signatures in the early 2000s. After the arrival of the Electronic Signature Act in the European Union, electronic signatures use was made legal in Spain as well. In 2016, there was an introduction of eIDAS which has standardized the use of electronic signatures all across Europe including Spain. Now, the electronic signatures can be used in business and present to courts as well.
The Legal Model of Electronic Signatures in Spain
Spain is operational under the system of civil law which is an arranged system or plan and is accredited from the Roman Laws. The system of civil law is based on the following points.
- The civil law is considered as a written constitution that is grounded on different codes such as the codes for corporate laws, civil codes, duties, and laws related to the preservation of basic rights, constitutional law, tax law, administrative law, and corporate law, etc.
- There is a minor scope for the laws made by judges in commercial, criminal, and civil courts but only the enactments related to legislation are bounded for all.
- In fewer systems of civil law implemented in countries like Germany, the written material of legal scholars is considered to have a significant influence in courts.
- There is rare freedom of contract i.e. numerous provisions are inferred in the contract by law which cannot contract out of provisions.
The system of civil law is generally advanced and prescriptive than that of the system of the common law. This is because numerous provisions are inferred into the system of civil law which is often resulting in the contracts to be of shorter length than that of a system of the common law.
The Legal Classification of Electronic Signatures in Spain
The legal model of Spain for electronic signatures is a tiered one. This is because the qualified electronic signatures (QES) is considered as legal to be used for various purposes. However, this doesn’t implicate that non-QES signatures cannot be presented to courts, however additional evidence will be needed for its authentication.
Under the laws of Spain, article number 1528 of the Spanish Civil Code, contracts are not requiring handwritten or penned signatures if authenticated through electronic signatures. Such contracts are considered as legal as long as the individuals involved in the contract have stretched to on an agreement through electronic means such as QES or handwritten signatures. However, in fewer sensitive cases, additional evidence must be presented on request for authorization.