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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10397
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Is a digitised version of a document (i.e. a scan) as good

Customer Question

Is a digitised version of a document (i.e. a scan) as good as the original document for legal matters.
Similarly, should that be the case, is a high quality print of the scan as valuable?If not, is there an article of law the describes precisely and in what circumstances a digitised document is not valid?Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

It depends on the document and the purpose..

For example, only an original sealed grant of probate is acceptable. Not a certified copy.

Many other documents need to be certified by a solicitor, court officer bank official as original before they would be acceptable. The same applies to a scan. It would be treated just as a copy.

It would depend, if this is with regard to litigation, whether the authenticity of the scan was in doubt and whether to introduce it into proceedings, and qualified as to its provenance, would be in the interest of justice.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. Let me give you some context. I am planning to offer a digitisation service followed by secure destruction. This is for mailed documents. The likes of utility bills, bank statements etc...
Therefore I am exploring the implications of offering such a service in terms of documents validity. So from what I understood from your answers, any document which has been digitised, if submitted as a proof will need to be signed by the institution that originally provided the document? Would you also happen to know if most institutions offer such a service (signing copies)?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Many firms of solicitors and other professional organisations already do exactly this. The onus is on the person supplying the copy to prove to the satisfaction of the court that it’s a true copy. This is covered in section 3.3 and the rest of the Civil Procedure rules

Does that answer?