The Specifics of the “Russian Signature” Examination
Independent expert, Sankt-Petersburg, Russia
In Chernov, Y., & Nauer, M. A. (Eds.). (2023). Handwriting Research: Forensics & Legal. P. 57-68.
The fundamental practical objective of handwriting examiners is the identification of the author of a particular handwritten text and signature. The identification of a signature, i.e. the fact of its inscription by an individual to whose name it has been ascribed, has always been significant in the application of the law. However, in recent decades as the economy has changed this issue in Russia is becoming especially relevant. A signature found to be counterfeit may cause a criminal case to be opened and subsequent punishment to be imposed on the wrongdoers and it may play a key role in establishing truth in civil law disputes. The identification matters are dealt with daily by handwriting examiners from various expert institutions in Russia. Furthermore, forensic examiners in Russia rely on the forensic handwriting examination theory and the scientific theory that dates back to the 60s and 70s of the XX century.
Knowledge of the evolutionary history of an object of examination, in our case its signature, may not be seen as a mandatory condition. However, such knowledge would enable a practicing forensic expert to study the subject matter of his research more profoundly and comprehensively and get to its roots, which, we believe, is necessary for the successful work of an expert.