Scottish Horizon Bill to quash wrongful convictions comes into force

The Scottish Government has passed a law exonerating Scots wrongly convicted as part of the Horizon scandal.

A law which automatically exonerates Scots wrongly convicted as part of the Post Office Horizon scandal has come into force.

The Scottish Government announced the legislation, passed by Holyrood just two weeks ago, received royal assent on Thursday (13 June).

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said she hopes the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences (Scotland) Act will go “some way to righting the terrible wrongs of the past”.

Working with the Crown Office, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Post Office, the Scottish Government will notify those affected and ensure police and court records are amended.

Ms Constance will also write to those whose convictions have been quashed, setting out the next steps.

They should also be eligible for compensation as part of a UK-wide scheme.

Ms Constance said: “This legislation automatically exonerates subpostmasters who were convicted of crimes of dishonesty that they did not commit due to the Post Office’s faulty Horizon IT system, meaning they are eligible to access the redress scheme.

“Of course, no amount of compensation can fully mend the lives that were torn apart by this miscarriage of justice. I do hope, however, that this legislation goes some way to righting the terrible wrongs of the past.

“I will be writing to those affected to tell them their convictions have been quashed and ensuring court records are changed, so the victims of this scandal can have their good names restored as quickly as possible.

"They have already waited too long for justice.”

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