We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Post Office ‘precedent’ worries solicitors
(Pic: Shutterstock)

24 May 2024 / britain Print

Post Office ‘precedent’ worries solicitors

The Law Society of England and Wales has reiterated its concerns about legislation that will quash the wrongful convictions of hundreds of postmasters in Britain.

In what became known as the Post Office Horizon scandal, the postmasters were wrongly prosecuted or convicted for false accounting, theft, and fraud due to glitches in a software system that incorrectly showed money missing from accounts in post-office branches.

Under the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act, which has passed through the Houses of Parliament and will become law later today (24 May), hundreds of these convictions are now automatically quashed.

Bill progressed ‘at pace’

Law Society of England and Wales president Nick Emmerson said: “We are pleased that postmasters and others affected by the Post Office Horizon scandal now have their convictions quashed and can gain access to compensation schemes.

“We reiterate that a piece of legislation as constitutionally significant as this required adequate parliamentary scrutiny time.

“This bill has now been pushed through both houses at pace, and the Law Society remains concerned that it could set a precedent for parliamentary intervention in the justice system.”

A conference in Dublin this week highlighted the role played by expert-witness evidence in many of the Post Office cases.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland