Researchers from the University of Exeter Law School’s The Evidence Based Justice Lab are investigating the Post Office Scandal and have submitted written evidence to the inquiry into the failings of the Horizon IT system.

“Powerful” arguments from University of Exeter experts influence Post Office scandal inquiry

“Powerful” arguments by University of Exeter experts have helped to ensure the Post Office Inquiry will consider the “human actions” which led to workers being falsely accused of theft, fraud and false accounting.

The investigation – into the flaws in the Horizon accounting system – will now include the findings from the investigative firm Second Sight, legal advice given to the Post Office and conduct of the organisation’s lawyers during the Bates litigation.

Researchers from the University of Exeter Law School’s The Evidence Based Justice Lab are investigating the Post Office Scandal and have submitted written evidence to the inquiry into the failings of the Horizon IT system. The research team are Professor Richard Moorhead and Dr Rebecca Helm from the University of Exeter and Dr Karen Nokes from UCL.

Inquiry Chair Sir Wyn Williams has said submissions made by the research team were “powerful” and said the inquiry will include the work of Second Sight and the way legal advice was given to and used by Royal Mail Group. He said: “I have no doubt that an investigation of these matters is a crucial part of the Inquiry’s work”. Sir Wyn said examining conduct during the Bates litigation was a “a proper line of enquiry”.

Professor Moorhead said: “The Post Office Horizon was a massive miscarriage of justice, blighting hundreds and hundreds of lives. We are pleased to see the Inquiry recognise that the legal advice received by Post Office, internally and externally, is “crucial” to understanding how Post Office abused their power. Lifting privilege - professional secrecy - and widening the scope of the Inquiry is a vital step to getting justice and accountability as well as learning the lessons from the scandal.”

Date: 22 November 2021

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