19 March 2013


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is reported to be setting up an 'e-discovery committee' to develop standards for e-discovery procedures. Establishment of the committee has some support from the United States, UK, Italy, Japan and South Africa.

The expectation appears to be that the standard “would provide guidance on measures, spanning from initial creation ... through its final disposition which an organization can undertake to mitigate risk and expense should electronic discovery become an issue”. The proposed standard would leverage ISO 9001, concerned with quality management practices. ISO 9001 defines minimum requirements for an enterprise’s Quality Management System and is supposedly used by more than 1 million businesses in over 180 countries.

Proponents of the standard - which might go beyond an agreement to disagree - conceptualise e-discovery as an engineering issue susceptible to standardisation. Critics have unsurprisingly indicated that standardisation is misplaced, given jurisdictional differences, technological changes  and different litigation requirements.

A draft report would apparently be submitted in July this year, followed by a comment period beginning in August.