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Supported by Emil Ford.

As a former UK colony, Australia’s legal system is largely derived from the common law system that it received from Britain in the Nineteenth Century. For this reason, many of the current legal traditions and institutions reflect their English origins. However, over time, Australia has attempted to move away from this model through its judicial system (which was initially modelled on the English system) and by recognising that there has been a variety of sources from which Australian law has arisen – the Constitution, statute, common law, equity, customary law and international law.

Key legal considerations for digital merchants

For information about digital and electronic signatures in Australia, refer to the table in the full passport.

Prospective e-merchants may also wish to consider The Australian Guidelines for Electronic Commerce, which apply specifically to business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce. However, businesses are also encouraged to follow these guidelines when involved in transactions with other businesses (B2B). It is also important to note that these are merely guidelines, and as such, where there is a conflict or inconsistency between the guidelines and the law, the law has precedence and will prevail.

Nevertheless, the main aim of the guidelines is to foster consumer confidence in B2C commerce by providing advice and recommendations on a broad spectrum of issues including:

• fair business practices;
• accessibility and disability access;
• advertising and marketing;
• engaging with minors;
• disclosure of a business’s identity and location;
• disclosure of a contract’s terms and conditions;
• the implementation of mechanisms for concluding contracts;
• adopting privacy principles;
• using and disclosing information about payment, security and authentication mechanisms;
• the establishment of fair and effective procedures for handling complaints and resolving disputes; and
• the law and forum for the resolution of contractual disputes.

Key legislation

We have compiled a series of tables in the full passport containing some of the key legislation to consider before you begin trading in the Germany. Topic areas covered include:

  • Privacy and data protection
  • Employment
  • Competition and consumer law
  • Advertising
  • Intellectual property

Further information

If you'd like to see an extended version of this information, please see the 'Legal' section of our passport.


To access the Full Report, follow this link here to register and download.

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