Field of work:
My doctoral project, with the working title Evaluation of electronic evidence, aims among other things to analyze relevant sources of error in the judge’s valuation of various types of electronic evidence. Electronic evidence is in this context given a wide, stipulative definition, which includes objects and phenomena, in immediate or represented forms, with a certain, expressed relationship to a certain basic technical structure. The main thesis is that evaluation of certain electronic types of evidence is often fraught with difficulties as regards a) identifying ancillary error sources and b) correctly evaluating the identified error sources. Technical expertise not being brought to the extent necessary in this valuation of evidence may lead to erroneous conclusions. How the underlying technology in electronic networks relate to their actual functionality and how the configurational framework of certain hardware and software is constructed are examples of such knowledge that, according to the main thesis, may be necessary as a foundation for correct valuation of evidence. Even knowledge at a meta-level, i.e. regarding which conclusions can be drawn from certain presented evidence, may have crucial significance for how electronic evidence is weighted. Insufficient knowledge on existing sources of errors may lead to that evidence is unreservedly taken as read or attributed negligible value, without adequate challenges or tests.
The study is conducted in a trans- and interdisciplinary way, through characteristic legal informatics reasoning about evidence law-oriented questions, based on observations from computer and systems sciences.
The dissertation aims to:
- analyze sources of error from a technological standpoint,
- observe certain (new) phenomena connected with law of evidence, and
- present suggestions of various techniques (structures and models) to use in order to increase the adequacy in of electronic evidence.