Legal Challenges in the Admission of Emails as Evidence
In the digital age, the inclusion of electronic evidence, such as email, poses significant challenges in terms of procedure and validity, both for lawyers and the Courts. Let's examine the key legal precepts applicable in this regard.
In general, Article 299 of the Civil Procedure Law (LEC) establishes the acceptable means of evidence in a trial, including the interrogation of parties, public and private documents, expert opinions, judicial recognitions, and witness interrogations. Additionally, electronic means of reproducing words, sounds, and images, as well as instruments archiving and reproducing data relevant to the process, are admitted.
On the other hand, Article 267 of the Civil Procedure Law (LEC) requires that: "Private documents to be contributed shall be presented in the original or by a copy authenticated by the competent public notary and shall be attached to the case file or a record of them will be made, with the return of the originals or authentic copies presented, if requested by the interested parties. These documents may also be presented through digitized images, incorporated into annexes signed electronically."
The Electronic Signature Law (LFE) considers electronic documents as information archived electronically, susceptible to identification and differentiated treatment. The doubt about the appropriate treatment of these documents is resolved by considering the way they are presented, whether in paper or electronic format.
Regarding validity on paper, the printout of the email can be considered documentary evidence. Its value will depend on the objection and will be assessed by the Court according to the rules of sound judgment (Article 326 of the LEC).