Başak Çalı co-authors Pioneering Guide for Judges and Fact Finders to Navigate Digital Open Source Evidence

'Evaluating Digital Open Source Imagery: A Guide for Judges and Fact-Finders,' a seminal resource co-authored by Professor Çalı, alongside leading experts, is aimed at equipping judges and fact-finders with essential tools to effectively evaluate digital open source evidence in legal proceedings.

The guide, launched at Inner Temple London on 24 May 2024, represents a pivotal advancement in the field of legal practice of human rights. Its availability in multiple languages, including English, Ukrainian, Arabic, French, and Spanish, ensures accessibility to a global judicial audience.

Authored by experts from leading institutions including Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Queen Mary University of London, Open Society Justice Initiative, University of California Berkeley, Mnemonic, Swansea University, WITNESS, University of Essex, and the Hertie School Centre for Fundamental Rights, this pioneering guide seeks to make the complex process of evaluating digital open-source imagery more accessible to the judicial profession. At its core, the guide aims to equip judges and fact-finders with the tools to assess the credibility, reliability, and probative value of open source evidence.

The guide covers a range of key issues relevant to the evaluation of digital open-source information, including authenticity verification, metadata analysis, and source validation. By providing definitions of technical concepts, practical examples, and insightful guidance, the guide seeks to assist  judges to make informed assessments and decisions when provided with open-source evidence. Professor Çalı notes: “ Open source evidence is becoming paramount in contemporary human rights and international crimes trials. This Guide, by making the complex and technical terrain of open-source evidence more accessible for judges and fact finders, will bring us closer to ensuring accountability around the world. The Guide will also help for judges in all fields of law in evaluating open source evidence.  ”

The guide is accessible online at in five languages.