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Documentary Evidence

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Types of Documents that are Self-Authenticating

There are several types of self-authenticating documents capable of undergoing official admission into a trial as evidence. These documents include: the presentation official government publications, well signed newspaper articles, and documents containing official trademarks belonging to official labels of products, for instance, Coca-Cola (Clement & Adrian, 2004). In common practice these solely remains the decision of the courts and entire judicial procedures that have been established. As Hails (2008) puts it, “Each judge usually retains a great deal of discretion on this matter” (p.189).

What must be done to authenticate documents that are not self-authenticating

There are several mechanisms that have been previously used to authenticate non self-authenticating documents. Authenticating a document would ordinarily entail the inclusion of several strategies. According to Hails (2008) these would entail, “(1) testimony of a witness who has acknowledge of the circumstances surrounding the making of the document; (2) testimony (expert or lay witnesses) that the handwriting in the document matches that of specific person; (3) distinctive characteristics of the document; (4) document is public record; (5) the Ancient Document Rule applies; or (6) the process or system used to make the document is established in court” (p.190). For instance, in the second method this would entail matching the respective handwriting of the person who wrote the document using special equipment and analyzers. In the third case, this would involve a special analysis of the respective document to ascertain that the document reserves special characteristics making that differentiate from other documents holding similar entities. In addition, “A forensic document examine may testify that a document is indeed authentic going by the present document using an exemplar, typewriter comparisons, and establishing its original source and date of production (Hails, 2008). These methods of authenticating non self-authenticating documents have been used in many cases.

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