Jonas Ekfeldt

Title: LL.D. in Law and Information Technology
Telephone: + 46 8 400 261 40

Doctoral Dissertation

Om informationstekniskt bevis
Information technology evidence consists of a mix of representations of various applications of digital electronic equipment, and can be brought to the fore in all contexts that result in legal decisions. The occurrence of such evidence in legal proceedings, and other legal decision-making, is a phenomenon previously not researched within legal science in Sweden.

The thesis examines some of the consequences resulting from the occurrence of information technology evidence within Swedish practical legal and judicial decision-making. The thesis has three main focal points. The first consists of a broad identification of legal problems that information technology evidence entails. The second focal point examines the legal terminology associated with information technology evidence. The third focal point consists of identifying sources of error pertaining to information technology evidence from the adjudicator’s point of view.

The examination utilizes a Swedish legal viewpoint from a perspective of the public trust in courts. Conclusions include a number of legal problems in several areas, primarily in regards to the knowledge of the adjudicator, the qualification of different means of evidence and the consequences of representational evidence upon its evaluation. In order to properly evaluate information technology evidence, judges are – to a greater extent than for other types of evidence – in need of (objective) knowledge supplementary to that provided by parties and their witnesses and experts. Furthermore, the current Swedish evidence terminology has been identified as a complex of problems in and of itself. The thesis includes suggestions on certain additions to this terminology. Several sources of error have been identified as being attributable to different procedures associated with the handling of information technology evidence, in particular in relation to computer forensic investigations.

There is a general need for future research focused on matters regarding both standards of proof for and evaluation of information technology evidence. In addition, a need for deeper legal scientific studies aimed at evidence theory has been identified, inter alia regarding the extent to which frequency theories are applicable in respect to information technology evidence. The need for related further discussions on future emerging areas such as negative evidence and predictive evidence are foreseen.

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