A four-day workshop entitled "Dialogue on the Use of Digital Evidence in Court" kicked off in the capital on Monday.
The workshop organized for judges and prosecutors supports the local efforts to update the Evidence Act of 1872 and the future use of digital evidence in Bangladeshi courtrooms.
US Ambassador Earl Miller, British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson, and Bangladesh Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain opened the workshop jointly sponsored by US Embassy and British High Commission.
The US Embassy through its Department of Justice organized the workshop and it will be conducted by two US federal judges and three federal prosecutors, a UK criminal justice advisor and a Dhaka University law professor.
Participants have been invited from tribunals where digital evidence is currently permitted under certain circumstances. The tribunals are the Anti-Terrorism Tribunals, the Cyber Crimes Tribunal, Speedy Trial Tribunals, and the planned human trafficking tribunals.
Representatives of the Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs were also invited to better understand the challenges judges and prosecutors face under the Evidence Act of 1872 as it relates to the use of digital evidence in court.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain attended the opening ceremony as the chief guest.
In his comments, Ambassador Miller noted there is widespread support in the Bangladeshi justice sector for using digital evidence as it would significantly increase the credible evidence available to prosecutors and judges, help solve crimes more quickly, and reduce the backlog of cases.
High Commissioner Chatterton Dickson expressed his support for the enhanced use of digital evidence in the Bangladesh justice system, noting that if used properly it can play a major role in increasing the efficiency and integrity of the administration of justice.
The interactive workshop will provide Bangladeshi judges and prosecutors with fundamental information on authenticating digital evidence for use in courts, and address concerns and identify common ground among stakeholders to lay the groundwork for introducing digital evidence in Bangladesh courtrooms in the future.
Other topics to be covered include the current status of the admissibility of digital evidence in Bangladeshi courts, establishing rules for the collection and introduction of digital evidence in court, appellate concerns regarding digital evidence, and identifying and presenting the testimony of expert digital forensic experts.