The Post Office: Disclosure Lessons from a National Scandal – Guildhall Chambers

‘An estimated 736 people were prosecuted by the Post Office between 2000 and 2014, Horizon software having been first introduced in 1999, and responsibility for prosecutions, in all but exceptional cases, being handed over to the Crown Prosecution Service in 2014. Many of those prosecuted were imprisoned, 4 committed suicide and all faced the stigma and stress of criminal prosecution. The Court of Appeal in Hamilton v Post Office Limited [2021] EWCA Crim 577 quashed 39 convictions (of the 42 appellants) on the basis that there had been an abuse of process on two grounds: that a fair trial was impossible and that it was an affront to public conscience for the appellants to have faced prosecution. This judgment followed the Post Office Group Litigation in the High Court before Fraser J known as Bates and Others v The Post Office Limited [2019] EWHC 3408.’

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Guildhall Chambers, 11th March 2024