Examination of notarized photocopy of a document on the example of свидительства o рождении (birth certificate)


Jacek Juszkiewicz, PhD
Expert witness from the list of the District Court in Suwałki

Judyta Malewska, M.Sc
Notarial trainee at the Notary Public Chamber in Białystok, Doctoral Law Seminar at Koźmiński University in Warsaw

DOI: https://doi.org/10.34836/pk.2020.310.3


This article attempts to address certain aspects of forensic-legal examination of the authenticity of a document on the basis of a notarized photocopy (certified copy). The article outlines the essence of the notarial act – regulated in Article 98 of the Polish Notary Public Law – of certifying the conformity of a copy, extract or photocopy with a presented document and the dangers that may arise from regarding a notarized photocopy of a presented document as a photocopy of an authentic document. The role of the notary in terms of document authenticity verification has been signaled. From a forensic point of view, the lack of evidentiary equivalence between an original document and a certified photocopy in the process of testing the authenticity of a document was emphasized. Based on examples from the practice of an expert witness, the possibility of identifying a forgery on the basis of a notarized photocopy of a document свидительствo o рождении is presented. The authors attempt to formulate several postulates concerning the making of photocopies of documents and their subsequent notarization.

Key words: notarial certification, notary, certified photocopy, document authenticity testing, photocopy, technical examination of documents