On July 14, 2023, Law No. 14,620 was published, amending Article 784 of the Civil Procedure Code to allow electronic signatures on executory instruments, eliminating the need for witness signatures, provided the document’s integrity is verified by a signature provider. The aim of this change is to modernize national legislation to adapt to the current business environment, which increasingly uses digital technology in the conduct of legal business.
The change specifically occurs in Article 784 of the CPC, which now includes the addition of paragraph 4. This new legal item legalizes the use of any form of electronic signature provided by law on executory instruments and dispenses with the need for witness signatures when the document’s integrity is validated by a signature provider.
It is worth noting that the digital signature on electronic contracts is intended to certify, through an impartial certifying authority, that a particular user used a specific signature. This ensures the authenticity of the electronic document and the confidentiality of the transmitted data.
According to the new provisions, a privately signed instrument digitally, whose integrity has been confirmed by a signature provider, may be considered an extrajudicial executory instrument, even if it has not been signed by two witnesses.
This legislative change reinforces the jurisprudential decision of the Superior Court of Justice, deliberated in the judgment of REsp 1.495.920. The decision recognized that the executability of electronic contracts could be validated in ways other than the signature of two witnesses, considering the certification of digital signatures by an impartial certifying authority sufficient to confer executability on electronic contracts.
(Note: “¹ In executory instruments constituted or attested through electronic means, any form of electronic signature provided by law is admitted, dispensing with the signature of witnesses when its integrity is conferred by a signature provider.”)