Author archive

Stephen Mason

Stephen Mason is a barrister. He is the editor of Electronic Evidence (3rd edn, 2012) and International Electronic Evidence (2008), the author of Electronic Signatures in Law (3rd edn, 2012), and the founder and editor of open source journal Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review.

Electronic evidence cover image

By Stephen Mason and George Weir

To ask the right questions of digital evidence professionals when instructing them, it is incumbent on the lawyer to be aware of what questions to ask. Here we describe the various mechanisms by which evidence in electronic form is adduced into legal proceedings via the worldwide web and internet.

The “e” in the lives of lawyers has gradually crept up on us, and will remain with us for the foreseeable future. Our new world is full of dangers from the point of view of practice. The Bars and Law Societies continue to produce guidelines regarding practice, and any readers, if they are not already aware of the dangers inherent in using computers, hand held devices and the internet, ought to seek out and implement some of the suggestions rapidly.

However, this article is not really about practice. It is a companion piece to my article in the July 2014 issue of the Newsletter on Electronic Evidence.

Electronic signatures and electronic evidence are central to our lives; we all use technology.

At present, there is no agreed term relating to the form of evidence that comes from our use of technology: specifically, software. For the sake of shorthand, the words “electronic” and “digital” are used interchangeably.

Evidence in digital format appears in every area of law, and whether you only deal with family matters, or crime, or housing, or legal negligence or wills, you will be expected to advise your client in relation to digital evidence. There is at least one case, if not more, on digital evidence that affects each of these areas.