Posts Tagged ‘evidence’

Integrity

November 9, 2009

Integrity is a key element in recordkeeping.  According to AS ISO 15489, integrity of documents means that they are complete and unaltered.

These words mirror s.11(3) of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (NSW) which notes that the integrity of information contained in a document is maintained if, and only if, the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart from:

(a) the addition of any endorsement, or

(b) any immaterial change, which arises in the normal course of communication, storage or display.

Proof of contents

November 9, 2009

Provence evidence is a key element in ensuring the authenticity of documents in evidence. Proving that the contents of a document are authentic could be critical to the outcome of a court case.

According to s.48 of the Evidence Act (NSW), the proof of contents of a document may be obtained (summarised):

  • Via an admission made by another party to the proceeding as to the contents of the document in question
  • Tendering a document that
    • is or purports to be a copy and has been produced by a device that reproduces the contents
    • is or purports to be a transcript of the words
    • was or purports to have been produced by use of a device
    • forms part of the records of or kept by a business

Inferences

November 9, 2009

Inferences may also impact on questions relating to the authenticity of documents.

s.183 (Inferences) of the Evidence Act 2005 (NSW) notes that if a question arises about a document or thing, the court may:

(a) examine the document or thing, and

(b) draw any reasonable inferences from it as well as from other matters from which inferences may properly be drawn.

However, Justice Austin in ASIC v Rich said that:

Authentication cannot be achieved solely by drawing inferences from the face of the document where there is no other evidence to indicate provenance. ASIC v Rich at 117

Admitting documents as evidence

November 8, 2009

How do documents end up being admitted as evidence?  In Australian jurisdictions that follow the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules, there is, usually:

  • Two (or more) parties
  • An order for discovery (UCPR 21.2)
  • A list of documents that the parties produce (UCPR 21.3)
  • The production and inspection of documents (UCPR 21.10, 21.11)
  • The (eventual) admission of documents (UCPR 17.4, 17.5)

Source: Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (UCPR)