Electronic evidence: a case for reform of the law of Evidence in Uganda
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The Law of evidence deals with evidence of information that tends to prove a fact in court. It is the duty of Judges to admit or reject evidential material depending on whether the items are relevant or whether the law of evidence excludes it from being admissible. A new phenomenon has sprung up revolving around the use of the computer leading to new forms of evidence that include computer generated documents. The proliferation of computers has created a number of problems for this area of the Law. People buy goods and carry out commercial transactions over the internet that has become the primary vehicle for consumer purchases, mass marketing, financial transactions, online information, entertainment and government services among others. There is need for legal regulation of evidence for these transactions This article is concerned with the need to reform the law of evidence to cover computer generated records or specifically carter for electronic documentary evidence. Many legal rules assume the existence of paper records, signed or original records. Traditionally the law of evidence relies on paper records although other kinds of physical objects have always been a part of the court rooms too. Dealing with records existing in other formats is not specifically regulated as it was not anticipated at the time the law was developed.