School of Law

Research Student: Zainal Ayub

Digital Evidence in Crimes: A Study on the Search and Seizure Procedure in Malaysia

In the information age, computers create new avenues for online and offline crimes. Consequently, there is also an abundance of potentially incriminating evidence stored digitally. The widespread use of computers and digital devices also has led to searches of data stored on hard drives and other storage devices. Also, this has led to a new type of search and seizure: that is search and seizure of digital evidence.

This research is an analytical study of the Malaysian legal system that addresses the criminal justice system response to dealing with search and seizure of digital evidence in crimes. Though the Malaysian position is the focus of this study, the position in United Kingdom will also be discussed. This research aims to review the legislation on search and seizure procedure of digital evidence in Malaysia and the UK. It will analyse the compatibility of laws governing the search and seizure of digital evidence. Compatibility here refers to the existing regime of laws that govern the search and seizure of digital evidence. Potential areas of incompatibility are an insufficiency of legal powers under the existing regime of laws; that the powers are granted but inappropriate; and the problems of enforcement when dealing with digital evidence. This research also argues that the values of fairness and effectiveness are the parameters within which the search and seizure of digital evidence procedures must be conducted.

Lastly, the purpose of this study is to take the lessons learned in United Kingdom and modify them to suit the Malaysian legal system.

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