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French legal framework of digital evidence

Antoine Meissonnier (French Archives Department, Ministry of Culture, Paris, France)
Françoise Banat-Berger (French Archives Department, Ministry of Culture, Paris, France)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Article publication date: 16 March 2015



The purpose of this article is to describe the development of the French legal framework of digital evidence. The ongoing transformations of information in an electronic environment reconsidered fixity and stability of writing. The society needed to construct a new way for guaranteeing records’ authenticity and integrity, considering the necessity of conserving record’s probative value through time. That is the reason why France has published different legal texts since 2000 for establishing some rules.


The article is mainly focused on acts and decrees which constitute this legal framework. It resumes content of the main texts and highlights the great evolutions of French legal framework of digital evidence.


The article showcases two main approaches for guaranteeing records probative value in French Law: one is based on information systems security, and the other is based on electronic signature. Both approaches can be complementary. Their principles are not so different as far as the conclusions of InterPARES work.


This work makes a link between French Law studies and academic archival studies. It showcases the development of principles guaranteeing records’ authenticity and integrity with many quotations from French legal texts.



Meissonnier, A. and Banat-Berger, F. (2015), "French legal framework of digital evidence", Records Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 96-106.



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