The EVIDENCE Road Map is meant to be a resource for legislators, policymakers, law enforcement agencies and any other stakeholders with an interest in electronic evidence and is meant to be used when rethinking current policies and legislation, drafting new legislation or when looking for practical ways of addressing issues that have been identified during the research of the EVIDENCE project.
Based on the main finding found in the EVIDENCE project, the document focuses its attention on providing solutions for the challenges identified by the EVIDENCE project.
The core findings of the EVIDENCE project are that
- there is no comprehensive legal framework as regards electronic evidence collection, preservation, storage, use and exchange;
- in spite of this lack of comprehensive legal framework electronic evidence is increasingly key evidence in criminal procedures;
- the lack of this comprehensive legal framework leaves LEAs to operate in a patchwork of solutions, be it legal, data protection, enforcement or technical solutions;
- the stakeholders involved feel a need for the creation of certification and professionalisation of the persons involved in and environments where electronic evidence is persevered, stored, analysed and exchanged.
Based on these (and more detailed) findings of the EVIDENCE project a number of strategic goals have been drafted for realising a Common European Framework for the collection, preservation, use and exchange of electronic evidence. These strategic goals lead to 10 objectives which need to be reached by addressing certain challenges. These challenges need to be addressed by certain actions on a European and on a national level on a short, medium or long term. These objectives need to be seen in a cumulative manner, that is, short, medium and long term actions need to be take in parallel to achieve the overarching goal of creating a Common European Framework for the collection, preservation, use and exchange of electronic evidence in the criminal law process. It is to be noted that while the project, and hence the Road Мap, focuses on electronic evidence in the criminal law process, reaching many of the objectives below will also facilitate the collection, preservation, use and exchange of electronic evidence in other legal processes such as in civil, commercial and administrative law processes.
The Road Map provides recommendations for short term, medium term and long term solutions related to enhanced legal framework and policies, law enforcement, technical standards, exchange and trust, professionalisation in the field of digital forensics, and further research.
The challenges and actions are reflected in the Road Map and a list of actions to address these challenges are also present.
Executive summary of the EVIDENCE Road Map can be found at the can be found at 'The Activities/Deliverables' Section.