Field of work:
My doctoral project, Relevant factors for adequate legal evaluation of electronic evidence, aims among other things to identify, analyze and highlight sources of error whereof knowledge is critical for performance of a correct evaluation of electronic evidence. Electronic evidence is in this context given a wide, generic definition, which includes types of evidence in the form of objects and phenomena, with specific relations to a basic technological structure, in immediate or represented forms. A basic supposition is that insufficient knowledge on existing sources of error can lead to evidentiary facts being unconditionally taken as read or attributed little value, without being questioned. Within the scope of the evaluation of evidence that members of Swedish courts must perform it is, as regards electronic evidence, according to the main thesis, often fraught with difficulties to a) identify relevant sources of error and b) correctly evaluate the identified sources of error. One thesis is that the requisite technical expertise before and during this evaluation of evidence is in some cases not brought to the courts to the extent necessary, which may lead to erroneous conclusions. Even knowledge at a meta-level, i.e. regarding which conclusions can be drawn from certain presented electronic evidence, may have crucial significance for how such evidence should be weighted. Examples of knowledge that, according to the main thesis, may be necessary as a foundation for correct evaluation of evidence include how the underlying technology in a network relates to its actual functionality, and how the configurational framework of certain hardware and software is constructed. Such knowledge is, however, seldom used within practical legal work.
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:
- identify, analyze and highlight relevant sources of error pertaining to electronic evidence,
- observe certain (new) phenomena connected with law of evidence for certain types of evidence, and
- present suggestions in the shape of various structure and models to use in order to increase the adequacy in evaluation of electronic evidence.