Section for Handwriting And Questioned Documents Examination

General information

There are 6 people employed in the laboratory: 3 biologists, a lawyer, a linguist and a historian. All of them are qualified experts.

Head of Section

Ewa Fabiańska, MSc

Scope of expertise

Forensic examination of both handwriting and questioned documents is conducted in the Section. Analysis aiming to ascertain whether a given person did or did not write a disputed piece of handwriting (a signature or a text) is conducted with the graphic-comparative method, which relies on the comprehensive examination of individual features of handwriting.
The examination of documents concerns the means of conveying information in the form of graphic marks (such as handwriting, print or stamp impressions) on paper or another surface. The basic methods used in the technical analysis of questioned documents are optical methods, Raman spectroscopy, electrostatic examination of indented writings and thin layer chromatography. Modern equipment used in the examinations, such as stereoscopic microscopes, a spectral comparator, Raman spectroscopes and ESDA apparatus, allows us to:

  • identify printing techniques and inks,
  • compare physicochemical properties of papers,
  • examine typewriting, printouts and stamp impressions,
  • determine the sequence of intersections,
  • differentiate between various inks and toners,
  • verify the authenticity of secured documents,
  • examine indented impressions,
  • examine alterations, erasures and obliterations.

Apart from casework, the experts conduct scientific research, focusing on subjects closely connected to daily practice.
The staff of the Section have for many years taken part in international proficiency tests. They also run training courses for prosecutors and judges as well as students of domestic and foreign universities.

Selected publications

  1. Dziedzic T., Fabiańska E., Toeplitz Z., Handwriting of monozygotic and dizygotic twins. Problems of Forensic Sciences 2007, 59, 30-36.
  2. Dziedzic T., Pająk M., Pismo osoby oburęcznej (studium przypadku), [w:] Wpływ badań eksperymentalnych na wartość dowodową ekspertyzy dokumentów, Materiały XII Wrocławskiego Sympozjum Badań Pisma, red. Z. Kegel, Wrocław 2008, 89-97.
  3. Fabiańska E., Kotarba-Pawłowicz A., Zespół Downa a pismo. [w:] Kryminalistyka i nauki penalne wobec przestępczości, red. H. Kołecki, Poznań 2008, 155-164.
  4. Hładij H., Znaczenie technicznych badań dokumentów i ocena wartości dowodowej ich kopii, [w:] Kryminalistyka i nauki penalne wobec przestępczości, red. H. Kołecki, Poznań 2008, 209-218.
  5. Zięba-Palus J., Borusiewicz R., Kunicki M., PRAXIS—combined μ-Raman and μ-XRF spectrometers in the examination of forensic samples, Forensic Science International 2008, 175, 1-10.