Electronic Records and the Law of Evidence in Canada: The Uniform Electronic Evidence Act Twelve Years Later
Archivaria, Vol. 70, pp. 95-124, Fall 2010
30 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2011
Date Written: 2010
This article analyzes the adequacy of The Uniform Electronic Evidence Act, twelve years after its adoption, in dealing with the complexity of the records created, used, or stored in the digital environment. In the face of rapidly changing technology, the authors believe that the nature and characteristics of electronic records cannot be accounted for by simple modifications to the existing law of evidence, but require a new enactment following upon a close collaboration among records professions, legal and law enforcement professions, and the information technology profession. The new rules, comprehensively encompassing issues of relevance, admissibility, and weight of electronic documentary evidence, must be based on the body of knowledge of each profession, on the findings of interdisciplinary research, and on existing records-related standards. The enactment of such rules would help the courts make accurate findings of fact, based on electronic records that are created in a reliable environment and preserved in an authentic form for as long as they might be needed, and would alleviate ongoing confusion about the admissibility and use of electronic records in litigation.
Keywords: Canada, Uniform Electronic Evidence Act, Law of Evidence, Digital records
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