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The Forum > Article Comments > Thou shalt not bear false witness > Comments

Thou shalt not bear false witness : Comments

By Tim O'Dwyer, published 9/4/2009

A New South Wales court decision has rung warning bells to all who witness the signing of property documents.

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You wrote too good an article, Tim.

Despite this article having not attracted one comment since it was published on Thursday 9 April, it has featured as third in Wednesday 15 April's ranking of 'This week's most popular' article on the On Line Opinion page where articles first come on display, here: . On Thursday 16 April it was still ranked fourth. There are around 25 articles published per week on OLO.

These rankings seem doubly impressive for this article, given that 'most popular' is based upon the number of views by all persons using the site, not just registered OLO users, and that (I suspect) many views on OLO only occur after an article makes it onto the discussion index page. It would be interesting if OLO was able to confirm that this is in fact the case.

The author wrote:

"The reason signatures on property documents must be properly and protectively witnessed, the Court explained, is that there is always a serious risk of loss resulting from forgery."

I suspect the majority of viewers would need no convincing.

It goads me to ask as to the seemingly related situation of the absence of counter-signatures on important papers of State, where the enfacement of signature blocks would seem to indicate a requirement for such counter-signing. The last paragraph of the post in this link refers to one such apparent instance of missing counter-signatures (and missing original documents). Viewing the gazetted facsimile documents referred to will explain my concerns.

In the light of this article, it would be interesting to have some commentary by an OLO contributor experienced in writing on matters of law and liberties.

It would also be interesting to know whether, in all situations where there is a claim that what purports to have been a genuine signature is in fact a forged one, is expert testimony as to handwriting taken?

Thank you for the reassuring news that this landmark decision constitutes.
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Friday, 17 April 2009 10:37:13 AM
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