Legal admissibility of electronic records in Ghana

Electronic or digital evidence according to Opoku-Agyemang (2010) is any probative information stored or transmitted digitally and which a party to a judicial dispute may use in a trial. Trust in electronic records as evidence has increasingly become a great concern to legal institutions in various countries across the world due to security issues and lack of proper implementation of policies and guidelines addressing the management of electronic records. Traditionally, it is easy to authenticate the source of records due to original stamps and seals. Duranti & Rogers (2012) stated that reputation, performance, competence and confidence were the four types of knowledge that was traditionally needed about creators or custodians of records to render them as authentic.

However, advances in Information Communication Technology in recent years have led to records in different formats and media with different mode of documentation which according to Franks (2013) includes email messages, word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, digital images, databases, video and audio files, voice mail, webpages and data stored in geographic information systems (GIS). These are difficult to authenticate due to their vulnerabilities.

ISO 15489, define records as information created, received and maintained asEVIDENCE and information by an organisation or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. The records provide evidence and can exist in different formats. Once records have been created, they must be managed and maintained for as long as required to ensure their authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability. As I always maintain, electronic records management has become necessary with the recognition that paper is an extremely costly means of communicating ideas and storing information. ..Read More..

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