Stephen Tierney: The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024: Necessary remedy or unwarranted interference with judicial independence? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘For the first time, by way of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act (“the Act”), Parliament has legislated to quash criminal convictions. In this post I will argue that, no matter how understandable, indeed laudable, the intention behind this legislation, in its haste to offer a speedy and comprehensive correction to mass injustice, Parliament has crossed a constitutional line and ventured into territory that is properly the preserve of the courts.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association , 3rd June 2024

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

New Acts – legislation.gov.uk

2024 c. 10 – Automated Vehicles Act 2024

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

Post Office scandal: Police to deploy 80 detectives for criminal inquiry – The Guardian

‘Police are planning to deploy 80 detectives for their criminal inquiry into the Post Office scandal, the Guardian has learned, but victims will face a long wait to discover if charges will follow.’

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The Guardian, 27th May 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Speech by the Master of the Rolls: The Future of Courts – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

‘The Future of Courts: Expert Panel and Discussion.’

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Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 15th May 2024

Source: www.judiciary.uk

Uber faces £250m London black cab drivers case – BBC News

Posted May 2nd, 2024 in class actions, computer programs, licensing, London, news, taxis by sally

‘Uber is facing a multi-million pound legal case being brought on behalf of almost 11,000 London black cab drivers, in the latest challenge to the firm in the UK capital.’

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BBC News, 2nd May 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Smart gadgets: Tougher rules for sellers of internet-enabled devices in the UK – BBC News

Posted April 29th, 2024 in computer crime, computer programs, data protection, internet, news by tracey

‘Manufacturers will have to follow stricter rules if they want to sell “smart” gadgets in the UK after a new law came into effect.’

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BBC News, 29th April 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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

Source: www.guildhallchambers.co.uk

The Curious Case of Computer-Generated Works (CGW) in THJ Systems v Sheridan – City Law Forum

Posted April 17th, 2024 in appeals, computer programs, copyright, intellectual property, news by sally

‘In December 2023, the Court of Appeal decided THJ Systems v Sheridan [2023] EWCA Civ 1354 and in doing so, illustrated my point nicely. That case involved a software which generated visual ‘risk and pie charts’. A representative example appears below. Both Mr Mitchell (the software developer) and Mr Sheridan (the software user) claimed to own the resulting visual images under section 9(3). This argument appeared in both the re-re-re- amended particulars of the claim (para 38.2) and the re-re-amended defence (para 49). The approved list of issues for trial (question 25) also explicitly directed the courts to determine who the author of the works was under section 9(3). With that in mind, one might expect the judgments of the High Court and Court of Appeal to interpret and apply s9(3).’

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City Law Forum, 17th April 2024

Source: blogs.city.ac.uk

Post office operator wrongly jailed while pregnant rejects executive’s apology – The Guardian

‘A post office operator who was wrongly prosecuted while pregnant has rejected a Post Office executive’s apology for having sent an email celebrating her conviction as “brilliant news”.’

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The Guardian, 11th April 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Blockchain as a database—proposal for a new test for the criterion of ‘independence’ in the legal definition of a database for the purposes of copyright and the sui generis right – Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Posted March 27th, 2024 in computer programs, copyright, intellectual property, news by sally

‘Technology’s exponential growth often outpaces that of the law. The persistence of outdated legal concepts that were not drafted with new technology in mind leads to legal uncertainty. This article focuses on one example of such a friction between old law and new technology, namely the eligibility of blockchain as a “database” for protection under the EU Database Directive, as implemented into UK copyright law. The most problematic requirement for blockchain as a candidate is that the material inside the database be “independent”. This can pose a significant hurdle for blockchain to succeed as the immutability of blockchain is ensured by the “linked-list” structure in between the blocks and the combinational hashing of data within the individual block. This article examines this issue and proposes a solution to this quandary: to divide the data recorded on a blockchain into “content” and “structure”, and confine the criterion of “independence” to the former. In reaching this solution, the author examines previous literature on the different types of data that can be found in databases, as well as how the concept of “independence” is understood by judges and academics. This article will be of practical significance for developers of non-open source blockchain applications who wish to protect their products as a database.’

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Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 22nd March 2024

Source: academic.oup.com

Payout for Uber Eats driver in discrimination case – BBC News

‘A black Uber Eats driver has received a payout after “racially discriminatory” facial-recognition checks prevented him accessing the app to secure work.’

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BBC News, 26th March 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Post Office scandal victims convictions to be quashed – BBC News

‘A new law will be introduced on Wednesday to clear the names of the hundreds of sub-postmasters wrongly convicted in the Post Office scandal.’

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BBC News, 13th March 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Post Office scandal victim feels ‘survivor’s guilt’ after compensation – BBC News

‘Former sub-postmaster Jo Hamilton says she feels “survivor’s guilt” after settling with the Post Office over the Horizon IT scandal for an undisclosed sum.’

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BBC News, 5th March 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Law body considers which law governs digital asset disputes – OUT-LAW.com

‘The Law Commission of England and Wales has opened a new project to examine how questions on the application of private international law should be answered in the context of disputes over digital assets or electronic trade documents.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 29th February 2024

Source: www.pinsentmasons.com

Ministers to press ahead with legislation to exonerate Post Office Horizon victims – The Guardian

‘Ministers have vowed to press ahead with legislation to automatically overturn convictions related to the Post Office Horizon scandal by the end of July.’

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The Guardian, 22nd February 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Facebook £3bn legal action given go-ahead in London – BBC News

‘A judge has given the go-ahead to a mass legal action against Facebook owner Meta, potentially worth £3bn.’

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BBC News, 15th February 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Horizon scandal: Five short-changed postmasters to get full compensation – BBC News

‘A small group of former sub-postmasters whose convictions were overturned have finally been told they will receive full compensation.’

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BBC News, 12th February 2024

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

English test scandal: students renew fight to clear names after 10 years – The Guardian

‘International students accused of cheating at English-language tests are planning a fresh push to clear their names 10 years on, with thousands thought to have been victims of a gross miscarriage of justice.’

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The Guardian, 11th February 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Horizon scandal: post office operator cleared after years of suffering in silence – The Guardian

Posted January 26th, 2024 in appeals, computer programs, fraud, miscarriage of justice, news, postal service, theft by sally

‘A former post office branch operator who suffered in silence and endured humiliation after being convicted of fraud based on evidence from the faulty Horizon IT system has had her conviction quashed by the court of appeal.’

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The Guardian, 25th January 2024

Source: www.theguardian.com

Robert Craig: The constitutional implications of legislating to exonerate the Post Office sub-postmasters – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Some commentators have claimed that the decision to expedite the process of formally exonerating the sub-postmasters potentially runs afoul of certain core constitutional principles, in particular the separation of powers. It has also been claimed that the “crown does not have a prerogative of justice but only a prerogative of mercy”. This blog considers and challenges those claims.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 16th January 2024

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org