In Queensland, there are several pieces of legislation that govern how people can enter into contracts. The main ones are the electronic Transactions Act 1999(Cth) and theTransactions (Queensland) Act 2001. The overall purpose of these documents is to allow people to enter into, and be bound by, contracts in the digital realm.

When it comes to signatures though, there are a few rules that have to be applied to allow an electronic/digital signature to be valid:

1- Is there a method to identify the signatory and their intent.
2-Is the method used reliably.
3- Did the parties consent to the method.

Without the above requirements being met, the signature may not be held to be valid and the contract itself could be void. There are many programs out there that allow the identity of the signatories to be captured, such as the DocuSign and Adobesign programs. These programs take details of the parties signing such as email and IP address details together with statements of consents being made during the process. This goes together with the Queensland Residential Sales contracts which contain clauses specifically relating to the issue.

There are still instances where parties cannot sign electronically, so the above should not be considered comprehensive advice. Prior to using any digital platform to sign a contract, you should encourage the parties to get legal advice to determine if the method is suitable for them.