Within the period of 22 – 24 March 2022 in Montenegro, UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) conducted a training on collecting electronic evidence (e-evidence), in illicit firearms trafficking and firearms-related investigations.
During the three-day training, Montenegrin officials from relevant law enforcement units and prosecutors’ offices acquired knowledge on characteristics of e-evidence, digital forensics, cybercrime, new trends and challenges in handling e-evidence.The practical part of the training was focused on the use of UNODC’s Guide for Requesting E-evidence Across Borders. Experts have also applied the existed legal procedures in the exercises and received information about the contact points that can assist practitioners on how to request and produce the e-evidence needed for trial. The issues related to data protection laws, mutual legal assistance (MLA) procedures and admissibility of e-evidence were elaborated and considered through the prism of international human rights standards.
The Montenegrin experts were further familiarized with UNODC’s Model Forms for interaction with internet service providers, various communication apps and social networks. The usefulness of Model Forms – for the purpose of filing an emergency disclosure request, preservation request and MLA request – was highlighted, and practical advice for its successful and timely drafting has been provided.
The Montenegrin criminal justice practitioners have practiced their skills by using the UNODC GFP case study, involving sub-regional illicit firearms trafficking and its resolving through gathering of admissible e-evidence from social networks. They had an opportunity to utilize and effectively apply newly acquired knowledge on the subject-matter.
In the upcoming period, UNODC GFP will deliver e-evidence training in other Western Balkans jurisdictions and will continue to work on the topic, pursuant to the great interest of the criminal justice practitioners in the region.
This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.