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The Law Commission presumption concerning the dependability of computer evidence

Littlewood, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-6397-8685, Ladkin, P. B., Thimbleby, H. & Thomas, M. (2020). The Law Commission presumption concerning the dependability of computer evidence. Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review, 17, doi: 10.14296/deeslr.v17i0.5143


We consider the condition set out in section 69(1)(b) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984) that reliance on computer evidence should be subject to proof of its correctness, and compare it to the 1997 Law Commission recommendation that acommon law presumption be used that a computer operated correctly unless there is explicit evidence to the contrary (LC Presumption). We understand the LC Presumption prevails in current legal proceedings. We demonstrate that neither section 69(1)(b) of PACE 1984 nor the LC presumption reflects the reality of general software-based system behaviour.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s). This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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