21 de July de 2023

Witness’ Signatures Dispensed in Electronic Contracts

Last Friday, the 14th, Law No. 14,620/2023 came into force and amended the Brazilian Civil Procedure Code (CPC) regarding electronic signatures in extra-judicial enforceable titles[1]  constituted or attested by electronic means.

Paragraph 4 has been included in Article 784 of CPC, and allows any kind of electronic signature provided for by law in titles constituted or attested electronically, dispensing the signature of witnesses when a signature provider verifies their integrity.

Thus, a private instrument signed by electronic means which integrity is verified by a signature provider will be treated as an extra-judicial enforceable title even if no witnesses sign them.

This change reflects the understanding that has been adopted by the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice and aims to adapt national legislation to the current business environment, which increasingly relies on technology for the electronic transactions.

That is because the digital signature of an electronic contract has the purpose of certifying, through a disinterested third party (certification authority), that a certain user has used a certain signature, ensuring the authenticity of the electronic document and confidentiality of the data transmitted.

Our Contracts team is available to assist you with any questions you may have on this matter.

[1] CPC contains a list of documents considered extra-judicial enforcement titles, to which a faster enforcement proceeding may apply. For instance, contracts were only considered extra-judicial enforcement titles if they were signed by the parties and two witnesses.

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