Legal consequences as a result of evidence posted on WikiLeaks
Could oppressive regimes potentially come to face legal consequences as a result of evidence posted on WikiLeaks?
The laws and immunities that are applied in national and international courts, committees and other legal institutions vary, and we can’t comment on them in particular. The probative value of documents posted on WikiLeaks in a court of law is a question for courts to decide.
While a secure chain of custody cannot be established for anonymous leaks, these leaks can lead to successful court cases. In many cases, it is easier for journalists or investigators to confirm the existence of a known document through official channels (such as an FOI law or legal discovery) than it is to find this information when starting from nothing. Having the title, author or relevant page numbers of an important document can accelerate an investigation, even if the content itself has not been confirmed. In this way, even unverified information is an enabling jump-off point for media, civil society or official investigations. Principled leaking has been shown to contribute to bringing justice to victims via the court system.
More about WikiLeaks
- How WikiLeaks works
- Why Wikileaks is important
- How WikiLeaks verifies its news
- Who’s behind WikiLeaks
- Anonymity for sources
- Prizes and background
- Some of the stories we have broken
- How more inquiring can make difference
- The importance of principaled leaking journalism
- Should the press really be free?
- Legal consequences as a result of evidence posted on WikiLeaks