The Application of Criminal Evidentiary Rules to Electronic Evidence
|關鍵字:||刑事證據法則;電子證據;證據能力;證明力;違法證據排除法則;傳聞法則;驗真法則;最佳證據法則;Criminal Evidentiary Rules;Electronic Evidence;Admissibility;Probative Value;Exclusionary Rule;Hearsay Rule;Authentication Rule;The Best Evidence Rule|
The revised Code of Criminal Procedure went into effect in Taiwan in 2003, with many changes in the evidentiary rules. The introduction of the concept of evidentiary rules under the Common Law System brought many issues for further discussion in the new Code of Criminal Evidence System. On the other hand, digital data in various forms such as electronic documents, digital photos, digital pictures, digital images, digital voice recording, etc. have been increasingly admitted as court evidence in recent years. However, the applicability and scope of electronic evidence in the Code of Criminal Evidence has been an uncharted territory for many. Therefore, the paper aims at analyzing the nature of electronic evidence in order to fully understand how the evidentiary rules apply. In addition, the new evidentiary rules have incorporated many concepts from the Common Law System. It is worthwhile analyzing whether or not these concepts are compatible with our existing evidentiary system or practical views and if they require adjustments or exclusion when applied to electronic evidence. As electronic evidence is international and common in the nature, we need to take reference from international cases to determine the future directions of such application and adjustments. This constitutes the second objective of this paper. This paper begins with an analysis of computer operations and electromagnetic records. From the evolution of information development and its interaction with human beings, the paper then discusses how electronic evidence has challenged the conventional evidentiary rules. It goes further to analyze how the evidentiary rules of international organizations and foreign countries (mainly the United States) responded to these challenges. After delineating the legislative trends of various countries, the balance point and necessary adjustments between electronic evidence and conventional evidentiary rules are explored based on how electronic evidence was treated in US cases. Finally, the paper analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the existing evidentiary rules and practical cases in Taiwan based on the physical characteristics of electronic evidence as well as the legislative trends of foreign countries and international cases. The paper attempts to formulate principles for the application and adjustments of electronic evidence to the evidentiary rules of various criminal codes for the reference of how Taiwan’s criminal justice system treats electronic evidence in practice and future legislation.
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