Victims of the Horizon Post Office Scandal: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1.  In the interest of victims of the Horizon Post Office Scandal, can the Scottish Government confirm if any Scotland-specific legislation, to quash the convictions of subpostmasters who had been convicted as a result of faults with the Post Office IT system, has been drafted?

2.  If any legislation has been drafted, can the Scottish Government confirm to what level of complete that draft is?

3.  Can the Scottish Government confirm that it would be the intention of this legislation to exonerate all subpostmasters who were convicted as a result of the faulty Horizon IT system?

4.  Can the Scottish Government confirm how many meetings the First Minister has had with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs about the drafting of this Scotland-specific legislation since 1 January 2024?


The answer to your questions are as follows:

(1) & (2) The Scottish Government has repeatedly indicated that the best way to ensure there is a quick, fair and equal solution for all affected sub-postmasters is for the UK Government to extend the scope of the UK-wide legislation. Contingency Scottish legislation, which will be required to ensure that those affected in Scotland are treated equally with their counterparts across the rest of the UK, is being prepared and will be submitted to the Scottish Parliament in line with the established guidance on Government Bills:

Part 2: Stages of Bills – the general rules | Scottish Parliament Website

(3) The intention of any Scottish legislation would be to replicate, as closely as possible within a Scottish context, the provisions of the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill which was introduced at Westminster on 13 March 2024 and is designed to “provide for the quashing of convictions in England and Wales for certain offences alleged to have been committed while the Horizon system was in use by the Post Office”.

(4) The First Minster and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice & Home Affairs meet on a regular basis, and the Scottish Cabinet meets weekly on a Tuesday. That notwithstanding, there have been no meetings between the two to specifically discuss the drafting of Scotland-specific legislation to quash the convictions of Scottish sub-postmasters.

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