28/05/2024

Justice Minister Welcomes Passing Of New Post Office Legislation

Justice Minister, Naomi Long, has the welcomed the passing of new legislation to quash the convictions of postmasters in Northern Ireland.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Act 2024 has now received Royal Assent, meaning all convictions in Northern Ireland, England, and Wales have now been overturned providing they meet the statutory criteria.

The legislation provides for the quashing of convictions for certain offences alleged to have been committed while the Horizon system was in use by the Post Office. It also allows for the deletion of cautions for those offences.

Minister Long said: "This is a landmark moment which sees justice served for those wrongly convicted and accused of wrongdoing as part of the Horizon IT scandal. Those affected have endured many years of false accusations, financial stress and shame. This is a huge step forward in righting that wrong."
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The Department for Business and Trade continue to work on the new Horizon Convictions Redress Scheme for those who have had their convictions quashed by the legislation. This will be fully operational by the summer.

Commenting on the financial redress, the Minister said: "No amount of financial redress can fully compensate for the years of stress and suffering that sub postmasters have experienced. I hope it is delivered quickly and seamlessly and I hope it offers some solace to all those who have been affected."

Work is ongoing within the Department of Justice to identify and notify those affected.  At this stage postmasters do not need to take any further action. However, if you believe you are one of those impacted in Northern Ireland you can contact the Department at PostOfficeHorizon@justice-ni.gov.uk or by writing to Legacy Litigation & Projects Unit, Massey House, Stormont Estate, Belfast BT4 3SX.


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