Why courts require evidence from handwriting experts as opposed to laymen. Most enquires regarding signature and handwriting comparisons typically fall into these two categories: a disputed signature on a formal document such as a will, financial agreement or contract.
In other words, is the signature a forgery?
A strong opinion is prevented where there is a risk that the specimen handwriting supplied in an examination does not necessarily reveal the full range of variation of the writer.
Inconclusive opinions are qld handwriting analysis given where the following circumstances arise: insufficient number of specimen samples to assess natural variation, insufficient number of questioned samples to allow enough features to be compared.
Training was provided over a four year period within the NSW Police Forensic Services Group under the guidance and supervision of several other document examiners and handwriting experts.
Signatures or handwriting that are low in complexity are problematic for two reasons: -firstly, the simple handwriting of one person is more difficult to distinguish from the simple handwriting of another writer because there are fewer individualising features to compare.
The courts hearing expert evidence may well be critical of experts who do not address the need to reduce or remove context bias. Bias may arise where an investigator receives background information regarding the circumstances surrounding the analysis.
No expert can determine a fraudulent state of mind from a forensic examination. Often it may be influenced in terms of how deeply it looks at this issue by the acceptance or rejection of that evidence by the competing parties that are appearing in the matter before the court.
The majority of local Government-employed experts use a methodology created in Australia that has 5 levels of opinion, which include two types of definite conclusions one for a proposition whilst the other is againsttwo that are not definite but qualified and one that is inconclusive.
This is a general example only and there are exceptions to this rule — it may be possible to offer a qualified rather than definite opinion. A document examiner will compare a source document a document that is relevant to a criminal investigation with other documents said to have been written by the same person.