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Lord Coulson rejects Post Office application to appeal first trial judgment. Reasons: postofficetrial.com/2019/11/lord-c…
Comment to follow later.
First, some snippets:

"Many of the PO’s difficulties now are self-inflicted. For example, as happened during the trial and on the application for permission to appeal both to the judge, and to this court, the PO has consistently put its arguments much too high...
… . It made sweeping statements about the trial and the judgment which were demonstrably wrong. The PO ascribed various findings or conclusions to the judge which, on analysis, form no part of his judgment. As the judge himself noted when refusing permission to appeal...
… , even when concerned with findings that he did make, the PO takes such findings “either wholly out of context, mis-stated, or otherwise not correctly summarised”.
"Another aspect of the PO’s litigation strategy which works against them now is their desire to take every point, regardless of quality or consequences. That was regularly apparent during the trial, where the judge correctly labelled their approach...
… as “attritional”. The same approach was still in evidence on the application for permission to appeal."
"The PO describes itself as ‘the nation’s most trusted brand’. Yet this application is founded on the premise that the nation’s most trusted brand was not obliged to treat their SPMs with good faith...
… and instead entitled to treat them in capricious or arbitrary ways which would not be unfamiliar to a mid-Victorian factory-owner (the PO’s right to terminate contracts arbitrarily, and the SPMs alleged strict liability to the PO for errors made...
… by the PO’s own computer system, being just two of many examples). Given the unique relationship that the PO has with its SPMs, that position is a startling starting point for any consideration of these grounds of appeal."
"The argument is that the judge was wrong to find that the SPMC and the NTC [two types of Subpostmaster contract] were the PO’s written standard terms of business….
… Ms Davies QC submitted that the PO’s business was the supply of post office services to the public, not the employment of SPMs. That argument had already been advanced before, and roundly rejected by, the judge. It is not difficult to see why."
"The judge carried out a comprehensive analysis. No error of law is disclosed in his approach: he did not ‘exclude’ any applicable principle of law. His findings of fact are inviolable."
And now the big one. The infamous S12.12 of the Subpostmaster contract: "The sub post master is responsible for all loses caused through his own negligence, carelessness or error, and also for loses of all kinds caused by his Assistants.”
Coulson says: "The judge found at that this provision meant that the PO had to prove negligence, carelessness or error on the part of the SPM in order to render an SPM liable for “losses”...
… In my view, that is the only possible interpretation of these words. I find the PO’s challenge to this... to be fanciful and wholly unpersuasive.”

This finding will cost the Post Office MILLIONS in damages.
Okay those are the decent quotes. Full reasons here:


Likening @PostOffice's approach to that of a “mid-Victorian factory-owner”, Court of Appeal upholds High Court judgment in favour of Subpostmasters. Write up: postofficetrial.com/2019/11/today-…
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