Guernsey Press

MSPs agree to fast-track Bill to exonerate victims of Horizon IT system

MSPs unanimously agreed to treat the Scottish proposals as an emergency law.


MSPs have agreed to fast-track Scotland’s Bill to exonerate subpostmasters convicted of crimes in relation to the Horizon IT system.

The Scottish Government this week published its Bill after failed attempts to push the UK Government to make its legislation UK-wide.

The Post Office (Horizon System) Offences (Scotland) Bill will result in those who were wrongly convicted being exonerated and, with their convictions quashed the day after the Bill is given Royal Assent, they will then be able to access the UK Government financial redress scheme.

MSPs voted unanimously to treat the Bill as emergency legislation and expedite its passage.

Stages one and two of the Bill are expected to take place next week, with final passage put on hold until the UK legislation is passed to ensure there is as little divergence as possible.

The proposals in Scotland mirror those of the UK Government, Justice Secretary Angela Constance said this week, adding: “The scale of the scandal and the length of time that the victims have waited for justice means we are taking an unprecedented step of introducing legislation to right this terrible wrong, and asking Parliament for it to be processed as an emergency Bill.”

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