Digital Evidence


E-Procedure: Evidence in Time of Increased Use of Technology and Digitalization

With the continued advancement of information and new technologies, the increased usage and sophistication of digital evidence used in the documentation of human rights abuses and core international crimes, operations of judicial and quasi-judicial mechanism will likely be impacted. The International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy) has developed an interdisciplinary project that explores challenges related to the use of digital evidence in international criminal proceedings. The project seeks to address and to consider the potential impact that the increased usage of digital evidence and sophistication of technology might have on the rules of procedure and evidence at the international level. Considering the Nuremberg Academy’s mandate on core international crimes, the project focuses on the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Criminal Court, as the first permanent international criminal tribunal.

The project consists of five clusters that take place both consecutively and simultaneously. Cluster A aimed to provide a compilation of relevant guidelines on digital evidence practices and standards through a website database (or repository). Cluster B focused on identifying and mapping out missing elements and guidelines that can be of relevance, especially concerning standards on digital evidence. Clusters A and B are currently finalised from the project perspective, and after the release of the "Digital Evidence Database". Cluster C focuses on primarily analysing international and internationalised criminal jurisprudence concerning digital evidence. The cluster aims to deliver a report encompassing a legal and comparative assessment of practices and standards. Cluster D covers the analysis of digital and human rights correlations and expects to deliver a report on the outstanding findings. Cluster E’s objective is to provide a conclusive answer to the project’s research question. The work on clusters C, D and E is ongoing.

The clusters are reflective of the roadmap for the project that has been established following the concept note (developed in September 2018) and the kick-off meeting (that took place in February 2019). Seventeen international organizations and institutions in Europe and North America have been consulted in preparation for the project, aiming to ensure non-duplication and a practical approach to the research question.