Towards Sound Forensic Arguments: Structured Argumentation Applied to Digital Forensics Practice

Virginia Franqueira, Graeme Horsman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Digital forensic practitioners are increasingly facing examinations which are both complex in nature and structure. Throughout this process, during the examination and analysis phases, the practitioner is constantly drawing logical inferences which will be reflected in the reporting of results. Therefore, it is important to expose how all the elements of an investigation fit together to allow review and scrutiny, and to support associated parties to understand the components within it. This paper proposes the use of ‘Structured Argumentation’ as a valuable and flexible ingredient of the practitioners’ thinking toolbox. It explores this approach using three case examples which allow discussion of the benefits and application of structured argumentation to real world contexts. We argue that, despite requiring a short learning curve, structured argumentation is a practical method which promotes accessibility of findings facilitating communication between technical and legal parties, peer review, logical reconstruction, jury interpretation, and error detection.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Investigation
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


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