A System Is Only As Good As It's Weakest Link
- AuthorJCP Solicitors
Developments in science has been instrumental in bringing clarity to difficult issues in court. The benefits of these advances are well publicised in terms of DNA, fingerprints and computer aided reconstruction.
Over reliance on these systems can though lead to difficulties when scientific evidence is not challenged or considered in terms of the context of how and when it was processed.
A clear example of these issues has been raised recently following the Horizon report prepared by the Post office into alleged fraud at various sub post offices. Previously the Post office alleged that certain sub post offices had taken or lost large amounts of money in their trading. Several Post masters lost money, their good name and even entered custody.
In the Horizon report and following a BBC investigation on which I advised, there does now seem to be some doubt about the computer system on which the GPO based their decision. This has led now to a mediation process and possible action against the GPO.
What this all shows is that any system is only as good as it's weakest link and the process involved in preparing the evidence, or the context in which it is developed should always be considered and investigated.