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Postal Rule

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Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

Vol.2,Issue 1(2007)

The Postal Acceptance Rule in the Digital Age∗
Dr. Marwan Al Ibrahim
Asst. Professor in commercial and Company law, Amman Arab University for graduate studies – Jordan

Dr.Ala’eldin Ababneh
Assistant Professor in Private Law at Amman Arab University for Graduate Studies-Jordan.

Mr. Hisham Tahat
PHD student, University of Aberdeen Abstract: This article examines the application of the postal acceptance rule to email acceptances. Different views have been argued against the application of traditional rule like the postal acceptance rule, which was established in 1818 as a legal norm in contract formation to modern communications like the email. The paper presents the arguments and rationale behind the application of this rule and contends its applicability to the modern communication via e-mail. The paper posits that email is not an instantaneous method of communication, but can be viewed as a digital version of the normal post and thus the postal acceptance rule should apply to this kind of contracting. Keywords: E-commerce, Email, Contract law, Conclusion of Contract, Postal Acceptance Rule.

1. Introduction
The conclusion of distance contracts has been one of the controversial issues in the law of contract formation. It raises some question marks, especially with regard to the type of rules that should govern the timing of contract formation. More specifically, a strong debate has been emerged recently as to whether the postal acceptance rule may apply in respect to contracting through email. This paper is then divided into two main parts. The first one examines the justifications of the postal acceptance rule, while the second part analyses thoroughly the application of postal acceptance rules to email contracting.

2. The Justifications of the Postal Acceptance Rule
The...

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