The ‘Digital Evidence Database’ is a practical tool that provides useful search options that facilitate finding relevant information and conduct research on digital evidence. It contains guidelines and manuals on digital evidence, significant for the documentation of human rights violations and core international crimes. This database was created as part of the interdisciplinary project ‘E-Procedure: Evidence in Time of Increased Use of Technology and Digitalization’ that the International Nuremberg Principles Academy is undertaking since 2018. The purpose of the database is to offer a central and comprehensive repository of manuals and guidelines concerning digital evidence, both at the investigation stage and judicial proceedings. It facilitates the access and usability of these guidelines by practitioners, investigators, researchers, academics and others.
The entries of the database are the result of a thorough mapping plan set in place in the context of the project. The methodology followed a qualitative research method. The mapping plan was carried out following three main stages: search, data gathering/collection and tagging of relevant material. The search and data gathering were conducted primarily in English. However, the database contains additional material in other languages such as Spanish, Russian and Arabic.
The database and its functionalities
The database is a data management tool solution that has been tailored to be user-friendly and easily accessible to various target groups. The material collected is diverse in its scope and addresses different thematic areas and work processes within the topic. To advance the search functionalities, the database provides a short description and purpose of the given material, relevant target group(s), while including the executive summary (if applicable) and the reference link. It provides the name of the source institution, language and publication date; sorting results according to these categories is possible. Bookmarking options are also available to ease the return to the research queries.
The advance search options allow searching for information based on the source institution and the language of the document. The database also contains a ‘help’ button which refers users to the database user guide. It contains useful tips on searching, sorting and bookmarking.
The database incorporates a feedback form and provides for broken links reporting.
The current version and 2021
To date, the database contains 120 entries. The Nuremberg Academy plans on undertaking further research, updating of the entries and collecting feedback (on both the material collected and the functionality of the database) ensuring further tailoring of the database to the needs of its users.
All feedback is welcome and should be addressed directly to: Jolana Makraiová, Senior Officer for Interdisciplinary Research at Jolana.Makraiova[at]nurembergacademy.org.
Considering intellectual property and other copyrights, the database references the material by cross-linking to the source document. The database includes executive summaries, when available, to ease the search, acknowledging the original source and facilitating accurate referencing.
To ensure full referencing, quotation marks are used to indicate when the text is referencing the original version of the text adopted within the guidelines or manuals.
The project team is regularly updating the entries.