Study on Legal Issues of Electronic Agent
|School||Guangdong University of Foreign Studies|
|Keywords||Electronic Business Electronic Contract Electronic Agent Legal Personality Contracting Capacity|
"Electronic agent" means a computer program or an electronic or other automated means used independently to initiate an action or respond to electronic records or performances in whole or in part, without review or action by an individual.With the application and popularization of electronic agent, the use of electronic agent has led to a sequence of legal issues which has attracted worldwide attention. Some countries and international organizations have made specific rules in related laws on many important aspects like the concept of electronic agent and so on. In china, the concept of electronic agent is absent in the existing domestic regulations.Based on existing theoretical research achievement, this paper studies the legislation and practice of electronic agent in different countries, analyzes and compares different academic viewpoints. It further explores some legal problems on electronic agent by studying several specific cases, and thereby throws out some suggestions concerning the domestic legislation of electronic agent.The first chapter analyzes and compares the concept of electronic agent in the both academic and legal sense. It is considered that it is impossible to make a uniform definition on electronic agent at present. According to the academic studies at home and abroad, it sums up several basic characteristics of electronic agent, and analyzes advantages and disadvantages of its application in e-commerce in great details.The second part discusses the legal personality of electronic agent. With the development of electronic agent technology, it becomes too limited to regard electronic agent as a tool, a legal body, or even an electronic slave. More and more supporters may go to see it as an electronic person. It reckons that though an electronic agent does have some characteristics of a traditional agent, it is not within the traditional law of agency for it is totally different from the latter in essence.The third part discusses the formation and validity of contract made by electronic agent.It reckons that the offer and acceptance made by electronic agent are valid in law, but it has some special rules in the practice. The cross-offer theory can be applied in some cases in electronic agent transaction.If an electronic agent is registered as an independent legal person, the electronic agent will be responsible for its actions with its own assets; otherwise, the action of electronic agent must be attributed to its users. And when one party is an electronic agent in an autonomous transaction, some special "error"rules should be accepted so that the other party can get some special cares.The fourth and last part is some personal suggestions on domestic legislation of electronic agent, based on the analysis of other countries.