John Samuels’ points 1 to 4 articulate well the obstacles confronting the “one fell swoop” notion.

As to his point 5 it is an intriguing proposition which I for one am still musing over. But would that not, as with the batch of convictions already quashed, rather nibble at the challenges here, given that Sir Wyn, as I understand his inquiry so far, is seised only of a finite number of such cases rather than what I imagine must be quite a sizeable number still emerging or to emerge?

I make it plain all the same that I regard the Post Office’s and indeed Fu-Jitsu’s stances of trying to brazen it all out as shameful.

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I am coming rather late to this thread as I needed to do some research.

Before any suggestion that the CCRC might achieve justice for the sub-postmasters (“SPMs”) takes root, the following needs to be remembered:

1. Save in exceptional circumstances the CCRC won't consider an application relating to a Crown Court conviction unless permission to appeal has been sought and refused by the CACD.

2. While it is unclear to what extent there may have been convictions of SPMs in the Magistrates Court, leave is required for an out of time appeal to the Crown Court; and it is far from certain that, under the existing Crown Court rules, any necessary extension of time would be granted.

3. The comments of Helen Pitcher, CCRC Chair, need to be seen against the background that:

a) in the Malkinson case the CCRC twice refused his application;

b) were a significant number of SPMs to accept her invitation to apply to the CCRC, not only would they swamp the existing work of the CCRC (see para 4 below), but they would be faced with the hurdles identified in paragraphs 1 and 2 above.

4. The CCRC is woefully under-funded and under-resourced. I have drafted applications currently before the CCRC:

a) conviction June 2009 ; application launched December 2019; unresolved.

b) conviction June 2010; renewed application lodged August 2020; unresolved.

c) conviction March 2018; application lodged December 2022; first looked at by Case Review Manager June 2023; unresolved.

5. A pragmatic suggestion: Sir Wyn Williams is capable of acting as a Single Judge of the CACD. If in the course of his inquiry he concludes that the case of any SPM should be considered by the CACD, he should make it clear that he will grant permission to appeal to that court. That will avoid the requirement for anomalous tailored legislation ; or any other means of creating an ad hoc arrangement for achieving a modification of the criminal justice system which, as you correctly suggest, will have unintended consequences.

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Many thanks, John, for those very well-informed suggestions.

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I tend to feel that, actually, something *will be done in this instance. The fact that Sir Keir Starmer has indicated his support for potential mass referrals to the Court of Appeal is telling, but unsurprising. And as a former DPP, he has no little clout in this regard.

I look forward to Lord Neuberger's evidence to the Inquiry intensely, as I do that of Lord Grabiner KC - the head of One Essex Court - and Brian Altman KC - the head of 2 Bedford Row. It strikes me they have questions to answer that Sir Wyn would welcome their views on. How persuasive these answers are, remains to be seen.

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I am very much looking forward to seeing the ITV film; and following you, Richard Moorhead etc in the meantime.

Compared to the tragedy of the variety of sub-postmasters and -postmistresses talk of the US abbreviation of 'vs' is probably trivial; but I shall reply to your question. For myself I don't think you are being pedantic. In 1956 Alan Jay Lerner (in 'My Fair Lady') pointed out that US people hadn't spoken English for years. They write and speak a differnt language often called 'US English' (much of which is the same as English English. They use terms like 'cute'; 'smart' to mean 'bright' or 'intelligent' (the BBC in 'smart speaker' does that as well); 'store' mening a 'shop'; 'gonna' meaning 'shall' (from 'going to'); and so on. Let's stick with Alan Lerner and keep our 'intelligent' speakers, our 'flats' and 'pavements'; and let's go to the shops where we shall not be 'storing' - yet. Let's not have our differnt language infiltrated by US habits - including 'vs' as an abbreviation of 'against' or 'and' (in case names).

And for land lawyers: the word 'realtor' in a US context is inept. It comes from realty (in UK English) which comes from Norman French 'real' (as opposed to 'presonalty'), which means 'royal'. It refers to the estate in land a person holds of the king, a concept insisted upon by William I soon after 1066 and as is still the case - notionally - in UK land law today. US people got rid of their tie with the king (if they ever had it in relation to land) in 1776.

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Thank you!

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One little-known fact (which I was told a couple of years ago by Alan Bates) is that from 1991 to 1998 the average number of convictions of postmasters for fraud or false accounting was six. Six per year.

In the Horizon period (from 2000 to 2013) the annual conviction rate averaged 51.

And the Post Office didn't see that as a sign that something was going wrong.

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What is also interesting is if you compare this with other miscarriages of justice. I am not saying the postal workers do not deserve justice or compensation because this has been perhaps the most extensive miscarriage of justice that we have seen. There is certainly evidence that would appear to suggest that an investigation for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, and perverting the course of justice would be justified (I am being careful not to say who should be investigated etc.). What is interesting, however, is the fact that there is complete acceptance that they should be compensated but someone who has their conviction overturned is not typically entitled to compensation unless they can prove to the criminal standard that they are innocent. You have written previously about this, Joshua, but it shows what a mean-spirited rule that is when you compare it to these cases.

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Yes indeed. I can see why ministers didn't want to compensate people cleared on a technicality. But who's to say?

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