Digital evidence searches in competition investigations : Best Practices for effective fundamental rights (Results of an international survey among defense lawyers)

An international survey among defense lawyers was lauched under the aegis of Concurrences in order to compare the protections that have been implemented in 15 different jurisdictions to address issues of fundamental rights arising in the frame of digital investigations. A first set of Best Practices emerges from this survey as it appears that, notwithstanding major structural differences between these regimes, similar protections are available in a large number of them. All jurisdictions should in our view consider these Best Practices, especially within the EU, where major differences remain between the various national competition regimes.

1. In April 2006, the International Competition Network published Chapter 3 of its Anti-Cartel Enforcement Manual dedicated to Digital Evidence Gathering. [1] This Chapter aims to provide an overview of practices and procedures for digital evidence gathering of ICN member agencies. It is based on information collected from ICN members in June 2005 by means of a survey to understand better the range of ICN member's approaches to digital evidence gathering and to identify good practices and procedures in that respect. 2. Unsurprisingly for a chapter based on questionnaires sent to enforcement authorities and agencies, it provides detailed information on methods, tools and techniques. It is however less instructive on the protection of fundamental rights and privileges in this respect. The

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