User-Generated Evidence

61 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2018 Last revised: 25 Jan 2019

See all articles by Rebecca J. Hamilton

Rebecca J. Hamilton

American University - Washington College of Law; Fulbright Scholar Program

Date Written: August 15, 2018


Around the world, people are using their smartphones to document atrocities. This Article is the first to address the implications of this important development for international criminal law. While acknowledging the potential benefits such user-generated evidence could have for international criminal investigations, the Article identifies three categories of concern related to its use: (i) user security; (ii) evidentiary bias; and (iii) fair trial rights. In the absence of safeguards, user-generated evidence may address current problems in international criminal justice at the cost of creating new ones and shifting existing problems from traditional actors, who have institutional backing, to individual users without such protections.

Keywords: technology, criminal law, international law, ICC, international criminal law, evidence, social media

JEL Classification: K33,

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Rebecca J., User-Generated Evidence (August 15, 2018). 57 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, 1, 2018, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2018-11, Available at SSRN: or

Rebecca J. Hamilton (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Fulbright Scholar Program ( email )

IIE/CIES - 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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