Certificate of Proficiency in Digital Evidence & eDiscovery Law Practice in Nigeria

Weekly training modules are based on the textbook: DIGITAL EVIDENCE & eDISCOVERY LAW PRACTICE IN NIGERIA by the Convener of the course Emeka Arinze Esq, LLM, M.I.T (info-tech), CBSP (Certified Biometric & Surveillance Professional, CDEA (Certified Digital Evidence Analyst), CCI (Certified Cybercrime Investigator), CFP (Certified Forensic Professional).

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WEEK

31

5 hours to complete
The Basic Concepts and Locard Exchange Principle in Digital Forensic Investigations. See Chapter 31 of the book for further reading

The evolution and principles giving rise to trace evidence is credited to Edmond Locard, a French scientist and criminologist, who proposed the notion that “every action of an individual cannot occur without a trace”, a principle that prevails today in crime scene investigation. The notion, otherwise known as “the exchange principle”, states that, “any action of an individual, and obviously, the violent action constituting the crime, cannot occur without leaving a trace.” It was Dr. Locard’s belief and assertion that when any person comes into contact with an object or with another person, a cross-transfer of physical evidence occurs. By recognising, documenting and examining the nature and extent of this evidentiary exchange, Locard observed that criminals could be associated with particular locations, items of evidence and victims.

Giving credence to the validity of Locard’s Exchange Principle, Dr. Paul Kirk, Professor of criminalistics, opines:

“Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value.”

The Focus of this Weekly Module

Because we cannot interact with our environment in whatever media without a transfer of evidence occurring, this week’s module takes a new approach to forensic evidence in investigation as they relate to traces left in many places: comments on blogs, chatting with friends on Facebook, sharing vacation pictures on Flickr and Instagram; the list goes on. The module considers several techniques that have been developed in conventional forensic sciences to successfully use these footages to investigate and prosecute offenders. Techniques used include computer log analyses, blood analysis, DNA matching and fingerprint testing. These techniques are used to confirm the presence of a suspected person at either the physical or the cybercrime scenes.

Gains and Benefit

On completion of the lecture as espoused in the video, reading activity, quiz and assessment, you will be able to understand:

  • forensics and its historical emergence;
  • digital forensics as a sub-division of forensic science
  • trace evidence in digital activity log;
  • trace evidence and fingerprint identification and
  • trace evidence in Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) marching.
1 Video (Total 20 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz, 1 assignment SEE ALL
1 video
The Basic Concepts and Locard Exchange Principle in Digital Forensic Investigations
1 readings
Module Guide
1 quiz
Activity - Answer a 30 min question & answer test
1 assignment
Assignment title goes here