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18 July 2023

Post Office inquiry must examine rule on IT evidence if miscarriages of justice are to be avoided

The Post Office Horizon scandal inquiry findings could put pressure on the government to change the controversial rule on the use of computer evidence in court which contributed to wrongful convictions and punishment, destroying the lives of hundreds of subpostmasters. Last week, the controversial part of the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act was brought into the statutory public inquiry, signalling that it could form an important part of the current phase of the hearings. One of the goals set for the inquiry, which is examining why subpostmasters’ lives were destroyed based on evidence from the Post Office’s error-prone computer system, is to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again. The law on computer evidence therefore must be scrutinised and judged upon or something similar will happen again, say legal and IT experts. Hundreds of subpostmasters were prosecuted based on evidence from software used in Post Office branches, which under current rules is presumed in court to have been working properly unless proven ...

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Data Center
Data Management