Courts throw Facebook at digital navel gazers

21 April 2009

Digital documentation is leading to cases being increasingly won on the basis of circumstantial evidence, according to Professor Mark Findlay.

In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Findlay commented on recent cases involving the use of Facebook and photos taken by mobile phone.

"You are going to see a trend in trials away from oral evidence to documentary trials," he said.

He said such a trend was concerning because documentary evidence was easier to fabricate than that provided by a witness.

He added that juries were also less likely to doubt the quality of the information. For example, they do not doubt that a text belongs to the owner of the mobile phone.

"The power of the visual image and the power of the text is that you take it for granted," he said.

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