In the digital era, instant messaging, and in particular WhatsApp, has become a fundamental communication tool. Its use transcends the personal and often ventures into the legal arena, where messages can be considered as evidence in trials. In this article, we will explore how the validity and authenticity of WhatsApp messages can be proven in a court proceeding.

Criteria for Admission of WhatsApp Messages in Court

For a WhatsApp message to be admitted as evidence in court, certain criteria must be met. The main requirement is authenticity, i.e. it must be possible to prove that the content of the message is complete and has not been altered. In addition, the identity of the interlocutors and the context in which the messages were exchanged must be established.

The Civil Procedure Act and the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court in the Supreme Court in the judgment 300/2015, May 19, 2015. establish that electronic communications, such as WhatsApp messages, may have evidentiary validity as long as fundamental rights are respected and they are obtained in a lawful manner.

Effective Authentication of WhatsApp Conversations

To authenticate WhatsApp messages as evidence in a trial, it is advisable to have the intervention of a **computer expert**. This professional can certify the authenticity of the conversations and their integrity, thus preventing the opposing party from challenging their validity.

In the event that **screenshots** are submitted, these are considered insufficient if they are not accompanied by the original conversation or a technical process that certifies that they have not been manipulated.

Strategies for Providing Messaging Evidence in Litigation

An effective strategy for providing WhatsApp messages as evidence includes:

  • Preservation of the chain of custody: Maintaining the integrity of the data from its origin to its presentation in court.
  • Device contribution: Presenting the original mobile device may be decisive for the admission of the test.
  • Use of backup data: present WhatsApp backup files that are saved in the cloud or in the phone’s memory.
  • Collaboration of telephone operators: Occasionally, operators may provide relevant information on the sending and receiving of messages.
  • A trusted service provider qualified in electronic delivery is involved in the conversation.

Legal Requirements for WhatsApp Message Validity

The law dictates that, for a WhatsApp message to be valid as evidence, its **authenticity** and that it has been **lawfully obtained** must be guaranteed. This means that the privacy of communications must not be violated and the content of messages must not be altered.

Messages must be presented in their original format and be accessible by both parties to the dispute, respecting the principle of **contradiction**. In addition, **verification and cross-checking** by the legal counsel or by means of an expert report must be allowed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How valid is a WhatsApp?

A WhatsApp message may be admissible as evidence in court if its authenticity is proven and it complies with the relevant legislation.

What requirements must a WhatsApp message meet in order to be presented in court?

Its authenticity must be guaranteed through expert evidence by a professional, and it must comply with the legal requirements for admission as documentary evidence. If a qualified trusted service provider has been involved in the conversation, it can certify the authenticity of the message and guarantee that the content has not been modified, and it can also be the custodian of the conversation.

What is the evidentiary value of WhatsApp messages?

WhatsApp messages can have a high probative value as digital documentary evidence if they are properly presented and their veracity and lawful origin are verified.

What kind of evidence is a WhatsApp message?

A WhatsApp message is considered digital documentary evidence that requires authentication to be admitted in legal proceedings.

In conclusion, the validity of WhatsApp communications in a legal context is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of the rules of evidence and the authenticity of messages. With proper advice and implementation of authentication strategies, WhatsApp messages can be powerful evidence in a lawsuit.

Technology continues to evolve, and with it, the laws and procedures governing the admission of digital evidence. It is essential to stay informed and seek specialized legal advice when facing situations where WhatsApp communications may play a crucial role in the resolution of a dispute.