, BCS, has called for reform to how computer evidence is treated in courts, following the wrongful prosecutions of sub-post managers. The IT professional body also wants the government’s into the scandal to consider the current rules on digital evidence. We are treat computer evidence,” said Paul Fletcher, CEO at the BCS.
From 2000 for 15 years, thein their accounts. It used evidence from the Horizon retail and , which sub-post managers use in branches, to prosecute those that could not account for shortfalls. But the subpostmasters claimed the Horizon was to blame because the shortfalls only started after Horizon was introduced in 1999/2000. They were in 2019. Based on Horizon data, a total of 736 sub-post managers were prosecuted, with some , many made bankrupt, and families ruined. A total of 47 after years of campaigning, and hundreds more could follow.
The Post Office was able to prosecute the subpostmasters using Horizon evidence, despite its errors,concerning computer evidence, which came into force in 1999. Before then, prosecutors who relied on in court had to prove that the computer system had worked as it should. However, the that year meant it was now presumed that the computer system worked correctly unless there was explicit evidence to the contrary. Fletcher said this should not be the , and organizations that relied on data from computer systems to support prosecutions should be required to prove the integrity of that data.BCS said it wants an “end to the legal presumption that computer systems data is always correct, with no burden on the prosecution to prove it”.
Earlier this month, the Post Office, informing them that it might have wrongly prosecuted them using unreliable computer evidence. Fletcher added: “The Horizon a range of issues that are key to the reputation of our industry, including the relationship between technology and organizational culture, as well as the vital importance of meeting independent standards of professionalism, trust, and ethics. Computer
Weeklywith the stories of seven subpostmasters ( ). Sam De Silva, the partner at international law firm CMS and chair of the BCS’s Law Specialist Group, said the highlights the dangers of accepting the output of automated systems without question. It was for the subpostmasters to and logs from the computer system were flawed or not accurate,” said De Silva. “Yet how could non-IT specialists be to prove this when even some experienced IT professionals would find it a challenge to do so?