Classification of Law

Civil Law

Chile's legal system is a mixture of Roman civil law and Anglo-American common law systems.  Civil law operates in areas such as family relations, property, succession, contract, and criminal law, while statutes and principles of common law origin are evident in such areas as constitutional law, procedure, corporations law, taxation, insurance, labour relations, banking and currency.

Civil law systems are based on concepts derived from old Roman law, distinguishable by their reliance on having a comprehensive set of rules and principles codified and easily accessible to both citizens and legal professionals. Codified laws are regularly revised to reflect the current environment, and have stronger emphasis in civil law countries than any precedent set by earlier court cases. Civil law countries cover more than 65% of world’s legal system, including the majority of continental Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

E-Signature Legality Summary

The Electronic Signature Law regulates electronic documents and their legal effects, the use of electronic signatures, the provision of certification services for these signatures and the accreditation procedure to which the providers of such certification services may be subject, in order to guarantee the security of their use (Art 1°). This law provides the conceptual framework for the application of electronic signatures, providing definitions of concepts such as "Electronic Signature Certificate", "Certifier or Certification Service Provider", "Electronic Document", "Electronic Signature", "Advanced Electronic Signature", among others (Art 2°). The Regulations of the Electronic Signature Law specify and provide technical content to the various provisions of the Law.

Types of Electronic Signature

The Electronic Signature Law establishes that an electronic signature is "any sound, symbol or electronic process, which allows the receiver of an electronic document to identify at least formally its author." A distinction is made between a simple electronic signature and an Advanced Electronic Signature, which is "certified by an accredited provider, which has been created using means that the holder keeps under his exclusive control, so that it is linked only to him and to the data to which it refers, allowing the subsequent detection of any modification, verifying the identity of the holder and preventing him from not knowing the integrity of the document and its authorship."

Both the simple Electronic Signature and the Advanced Electronic Signature require an “Electronic Signature Certificate,” to “attest [] the link between the signer or holder of the certificate and the creation data of the electronic signature.” The difference between the simple Electronic Signature and the Advanced Electronic Signature is that while the Advanced Electronic Signature is one that is certified by an accredited provider and allows any document and instrument—whether private or public—to be digitally signed, the simple Electronic Signature is any electronic signature that is not advanced (and that, therefore, has not been issued by an accredited provider).

Documents That May be Signed Electronically

The following categories can be signed using just a simple Electronic Signature (which as noted above, requires use of an Electronic Signature Certificate):

  • HR
  • Procurement
  • Corporate Resolutions
  • NDAs
  • Software Licensing
  • Healthcare
  • Banking
  • Real Estate
  • Lending
  • Chattel Paper
  • Insurance
  • Education
  • Life Sciences
  • Technology sector;
  • Documents to Notarized
  • Documents to be Recorded
  • Consumer Transactions
  • Government Filings

Further Guidance

Certain electronic documents can only be signed with an Advanced Electronic Signature, such as:

  • Forms for the incorporation, modification, dissolution, or annotations of companies;
  • Public documents in electronic format (e.g., a Civil Registry certificate or a certificate from the Real Estate Registrar); and
  • Judicial mandate granted in electronic document

The following should also be considered to have restrictions attached when using electronic or Advanced Electronic Signatures:

  • Government Fillings
  • Documents to be Notarized

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, so DocuSign cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

Last updated: September 07, 2021

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