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Electronic Commerce Transaction In Nigeria: A Critical Legal Literature Review

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Abstract

This paper conducts a critical legal literature review on e-commerce transaction issues in Nigeria. The paper focuses much on pressing legal issues concerning data protection of e-consumers and unfair trade practices exhibited by unscrupulous e-traders. The paper also examines issues concerning consumer protection institutions with a view to assessing their effectiveness in protecting consumers in the country. The paper adopts a doctrinal research methodology in achieving its objective. The paper reveals that e-commerce contributes immensely to the global economy. That Nigeria stands to derive a lot of economic benefits from e-commerce transactions. That unfair trade practices and data protection as well as institutional problems pose a serious threat to the Nigeria consumers who desire to utilise the Internet for commercial transactions. The paper, therefore, recommends a systematic legislative reform that will address online data protection and unfair trade practices problems in the country. The paper also recommends holistic reforms in the institutional infrastructure for e-commerce and consumer protection in the country.
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Thesis
The present thesis argues that the current Jordanian legal frameworks are insufficiently developed to provide an adequate level of consumer protection to redress the imbalance of power between parties in electronic commerce consumer contracts. This argument is triggered due to the Jordanian legislation placing great emphasis on the freedom of contract principle to govern all types of contracts, regardless of whether one of the contracting parties suffers from an inequality of bargaining power. This principle does not serve consumer protection as consumer contracts are usually presented on a take-it-or-leave-it basis where a consumer has no realistic bargaining opportunity. On the other hand, such a principle does not allow the legislature to intervene in the contract in order to redress that imbalance. By depending on the freedom of contract principle, Jordanian legislation has, to a large extent, failed to provide consumers with an acceptable level of protection. This subject will be analysed and discussed alongside European Union legislation in order to illustrate the existing weaknesses in the legal frameworks in Jordan in relation to consumer contracts. After concluding the legal analysis and determining the weaknesses in Jordanian law, the thesis will provide an empirical study to measure the impact of the lack of consumer protection law on the growth of electronic commerce in Jordan. This empirical study, which has been conducted by way of a questionnaire survey, has revealed that one of the factors that prevents consumers engaging in e-commerce activities, and which undermines their confidence, is their perception of the protection provided by the law. This thesis concludes that basic consumer protection, which aims to rebalance the power in Business-to-Consumer contracts, is essential for consumer confidence and the development of e-commerce in Jordan. There is a positive correlation between purchasing online and the protective measures selected in this thesis (i.e. information requirements, protection from unfair contract terms and consumer rights). Therefore, a comprehensive model has been suggested in order to fill the gap in the Jordanian legislation.
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Having the ability to produce independent research is critically important at the postgraduate level. Producing a quality research paper requires advanced skills in conceptualising the project, identifying a pertinent methodology, project planning, analysis and synthesis of ideas from the literature, together with good writing skills. This 4th edition outlines the 12 steps in this process. It includes an updated legal research guide. The inclusion of research checklists for several international jurisdictions such as the European Union, China and India, serves to acknowledge our reliance in broader international and comparative perspectives in pursuing research in the current century.
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