Good evening secret emailers. I hope you are enjoying your weekends.
They both make fascinating reading if you have a head for navigating that sort of thing.
From the archives
A year ago today I wrote this piece about the NFSP, a full three months before Sir Peter Fraser’s expert shredding of their credibility in his first trial judgment. I hope you enjoy it.
Fame at last
No one could be happier than me to find out this blog has received a studiedly neutral citation on the second to last page of a parliamentary briefing paper on the current state of the Post Office. Computer Weekly and the “redoubtable” Mark Baker get a mention on the same page, too.
My profound thanks to Eleanor Shaikh for the spot. I am delighted she continues to dig around in public documents. Ms Shaikh was the engine behind this blog post which gives a clear indication of the amount of government involvement there is in the Post Office. A heroic research effort.
When is the Horizon trial judgment coming?
Well… the first trial finished on 6 Dec last year and the judgment didn’t appear until 15 March 2019. That’s three months, 9 days.
The Horizon trial finished on 2 July 2019 and it is now 16 November. That’s four months, 14 days. Given the summer holidays are longer than the Christmas holidays, we’re kind of in the same territory.
What’s interesting is that unless the parties have been informed otherwise, they are going to get the Lord Justice Coulson’s decision on the application to appeal the first trial judgment by lunchtime on Friday (22 November). He is doing this in order to aid the parties before they go into mediation on the 27 November.
Whilst mediation technically has nothing to do with the courts process (Fraser J simply ordered that it should be explored), it is certainly going to aid both parties if they have seen and read the Court of Appeal decision AND the Horizon trial judgment before mediation starts.
Whoever “wins” the Horizon trial will be in a far stronger position when it comes to mediation. Mediating in the absence of the Horizon trial judgment will make the whole process much more complex. Not impossible, by any means, but much more complex.
Whilst Fraser J is under no obligation whatsoever to get his judgment out before mediation begins, we know he is aware of the date and probably that Lord Justice Coulson is aiming to aid the parties by getting his decision to the parties on the 22nd.
I suspect Fraser J will follow suit with the Horizon trial, though when I contacted the parties late on Friday I was told that neither had received a draft copy yet.
As soon as I get a concrete date on the handing down of the Horizon judgment, I’ll let you know, and of course, the moment the decision on the application to appeal is handed down, I will request it and post it online.
Good night! And thanks to secret emailers new and old for all the donations. Thanks to your generosity, we’re now good till next year. I am very grateful.