Canadian Journal of Law and Technology

Article Title

Legislating Trust


John D. Gregory


As governments in Canada and elsewhere have considered statutes to ensure that electronic communications are legally effective, they have invariably had to face questions about the reliability of those communications. Can we trust elec-tronic messages, documents, and signatures? Are they the same in law as if they were on paper? What conditions should be imposed in order to give us the right assurances that we can trust them? To answer these questions properly, we need to understand the nature of “trust” and the extent to which legislation can be a source of it, and what other sources should be enlisted to allow prudent legal oper-ations in the digital age.