Identification of handwriting assumes great importance in court of law when the authenticity of handwriting/signature is questioned. Sir Ordway Hilton gave five Basic Principles of Handwriting Identification with their corollaries to guide us in the process of handwriting identification. Let us have a look at these rules:
Rule 1. Each mature writer has a handwriting which is personal and individual to him alone.
Corollary 1 .Every individual’s handwriting undergoes gradual change in the course of his life.
Corollary 2. The gradual changes in handwriting which occur during a person’s life time while following certain general patterns are individual to each writer.
Rule 2 . Deterioration of an individual’s handwriting due to any cause affects all of the writing property and is not confined to changes of one or two elements.
Corollary 1. An individual’s handwriting may deteriorate very rapidly due to a sharp physical decline resulting from either severe illness or old age.
Corollary 2. A transitory change may be injected into hand-writing by transitory physical and mental conditions, such as fatigue, nervous tension, and intoxication or severe illness, from which the writer ultimately recovers. In these cases, handwriting reverts to its normal qualities after the causes of deterioration are removed.
Rule 3. A writer cannot exceed his maximum writing, ability or skill without serious effort and training applied over a period of time.
Rule 4. Attempted disguise leads to an inferior never better quality of handwriting.
Corollary 1. A lack of uniformity in execution and form, especially in extended specimens, is typical of disguise.
Corollary 2. Converse. Uniformity of writing qualities in an extended specimen of handwriting is an indication of a lack of disguise.
Rule 5. Writing variation is an essential property’ of everyone’s handwriting. Variation in writing is a natural attribute, and the expert or range is an individual quality. With some writers successive specimen show wide variation, alternate form, and a lack of precision in execution. At the other extreme are those, who deviate but slightly form a fixed pattern.
Corollary 1. The degree of variation in writing trends to increase with more rapid and less careful execution.
Corollary 2. Variation in writing is related to the conditions under which it was prepared.
Corollary 3. The purpose for which writings were intended may govern the degree of variation in them.
Corollary 4. In repeated specimens of writing prepared at one time, variation tends to be less than between specimens written from day to day.
If there is any doubt in any of the Principles of Handwriting Identification , comment in the section below and we shall discuss it further 🙂
Lets have a look at the class and individual characteristics of handwriting now.