Overview of electronic signature law and its legality in Spain
As an EU member state, Spain has legally recognized electronic signatures since 2003. The EU Directive originally passed the Electronic Signature Act in 1999. And in 2016, the eIDAS standardized these regulations across Europe.
Spain has a tiered legal model, which means that handwritten signatures are not required to validate a contract. Generally, if two people come to a written or electronic agreement, that contract is considered legally valid. However, additional documentation may be required to validate that contract.
Like many countries in Europe, Spain operates under a Civil Law legal system. The country is actually a mix of Civil Law and Common Law systems, but it uses Civil Law when it comes to property, contracts, and criminal law.
According to Spanish law, an eSignature is given the same legal weight as a handwritten signature. Article 1528 states that contracts become valid once two legally competent parties come to an agreement.
Understanding the eIDAS regulations
Electronic signature laws were standardized across Europe with the passage of the eIDAS regulations. The eIDAS regulations replaced the e-Signatures Directive for all 28 member states in the European Union.
The eIDAS regulations are mostly neutral when it comes to technology and define three types of electronic signatures.