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Bobovkin M.V., Ruchkin V.A. Forensic Handwriting Examination and Graphology: Current Issues of the Theory and Practice

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2017.3.23

Mikhail V. Bobovkin, Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Professor, Department of Documentary Research, V.J. Kikot Moscow University of the Interior Ministry of Russia, Akademika Volgina St., 12, 117437 Moscow, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vitaliy A. Ruchkin, Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Forensic Examination and Physical Material Science, Volgograd State University, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Introduction: forensic handwriting examination is of great importance in the judicial proceedings and other aspects of law enforcement activities. The fulfillment of their tasks is significantly influenced by the achievements of graphology, which is ambiguously evaluated by the forensic community. In this regard, the authors of the research work set the goal to investigate the formation, development and current state of handwriting theory, the possibility of using it in criminalistics and forensics. Methods: the methodological framework for the research is the methods of scientific knowledge, among which the main place is occupied by the methods of historicism, systematicity, observation, comparison, analysis, synthesis, analogy, etc. Results: grounded in the work the author’s position is based on the opinion of the competent scientific community about the pseudoscientific nature of modern graphology, which does not allow using it when solving the problems of judicial handwriting examination. On the basis of the comparative analysis the main features of this theory are highlighted: commercial orientation, the absence of serious scientific background, etc. The question is raised about the absence of a direct, rigidly deterministic relationship between the features of handwriting and personality. Conclusions: the study confirms the immutability of the speculative nature of graphology, which has not yet reached the level of a science and continues to be a self-proclaimed art. It includes a number of utopian theories what precludes the use of its potential in forensic handwriting examination when establishing the facts that have evidentiary and orienting meaning.

Key words: forensic handwriting examination, personal characteristics of the performer of a manuscript, graphology, international graphological communities, speculative and pseudo-scientific directions in graphology, delineation of tasks of judicial handwriting examination and graphology.

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