Electronic Signatures in German, French and Polish Law Perspective

  • Christiane Bierekoven
  • Philip Bazin
  • Tomasz Kozlowski


This article presents some significant issues on the recognition of electronic signatures with regard to foreign certificates from the perspective of German, French and Polish law. The European Union legislation applies to Germany and France, and has served as a guide for Polish legislation in the course of preparations of the accession of Poland to the European Union. There are therefore strong similarities between the legislation of these countries, but as the French example shows, the results may also differ with regard to the material law applicable to a contract. The difference between simple and advanced electronic signature is discussed within the context of French law.

This article elaborates on conditions of recognition of electronic signatures and the relevance of such recognition for the legal systems of the Germany, France and Poland. It seems that the Electronic Signature Directive has been successfully implemented, and provides for clear recognition criteria within the European Union. The recognition of certificates from third countries depends on the fulfillment of the criteria set out in the Directive. The Polish law provides for a special position of European Union based suppliers of certificates in terms of their recognition.

Author Biographies

Christiane Bierekoven
Philip Bazin
Tomasz Kozlowski