Join TSR now to have your say on this topicSign up now

DWP break law, retroactively change the law so it never happened. Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    The Department for Work and Pensions has introduced emergency legislation to reverse the outcome of a court of appeal decision and "protect the national economy" from a £130m payout to jobseekers deemed to have been unlawfully punished.

    The retroactive legislation, published on Thursday evening and expected to be rushed through parliament on Tuesday, will effectively strike down a decision by three senior judges and deny benefit claimants an average payout of between £530 and £570 each.

    Last month the court of appeal ruled that science graduate Cait Reilly and fellow complainant and unemployed lorry driver Jamieson Wilson had been unlawfully made to work unpaid for organisations including Poundland because the DWP had not given jobseekers enough legal information about what they were being made to do.

    The ruling meant that hundreds of thousands of jobseekers who had been financially penalised for falling foul of half a dozen employment schemes, including the government's flagship Work Programme, would have been entitled to a full rebate if a final government appeal was rejected by the supreme court.

    However, the government has instead published a seven-page jobseekers (back to work schemes) bill to head off a potential multimillion-pound payout and "protect the national economy".

    The Guardian understands that Labour will support the fast-tracked bill with some further safeguards and that negotiations with the coalition are ongoing.

    The new bill would also put a stop to any potential claims for the national minimum wage, which could otherwise be due to those who spent weeks working for no pay at high street chains such as Tesco, Matalan and Argos.

    Lawyers and campaigners branded the DWP's move as "repugnant" and "unbelievably disgusting", saying it undermined the rule of law.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...kers-poundland

    Even by this governments standards this is off the WTF scale. It seems its not just Article 8 of the ECHR our government have a problem with, thier lack of respect for the rule of law goes far beyond that. Wave goodbye to your right of access to court under ECHR Article 6.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    It's a perfectly constitutional measure, and one I am comfortable with. I do not like the law itself but if Parliament wants to make it an Act rather than simply a regulation, it is entirely within its power to do so.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gladders)
    It's a perfectly constitutional measure
    Thats not really saying much though, is it?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by n00)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...kers-poundland

    Even by this governments standards this is off the WTF scale. It seems its not just Article 8 of the ECHR our government have a problem with, thier lack of respect for the rule of law goes far beyond that. Wave goodbye to your right of access to court under ECHR Article 6.
    parliament soviergnty is being respected- I have no problem with that.

    May as well go the whole way and leave the eu AND echR!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Retrospective legislation is disgusting at the best of times. Iain Duncan Smith's dispensed of his opportunity to be scrutinies for the mess he's made.

    (Original post by DWP)
    This legislation will protect taxpayers and make sure we won't be paying back money to people who didn't do enough to find work.
    So a complete blanket law is the appropriate action?

    That's like just putting a sheet of newspaper over your carpet every time it gets a spot of dirt on it. Eventually the luxury of walking on carpet will be replaced by the frustration of walking on newspaper. Admit mistakes were made and clean up your mess properly.

    Absolutely disgusting action from the DWP and others involved.

    (Original post by a729)
    parliament soviergnty is being respected- I have no problem with that.
    If you were a claimant who was owed £500 in compensation, I have little confidence that you'd feel the same way about parliamentary sovereignty if you lost your entitlement. Are we not a common law jurisdiction? The law should be determined by the judiciary, which it was, but their decision was then completely snubbed by the legislature. It shows a complete lack of respect to the judiciary who often have their hands tied.

    If the law is incompatible, sure, pass a bill. But don't make it retrospective, that's shameful.

    Disgraceful.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rybee)
    Retrospective legislation is disgusting at the best of times. Iain Duncan Smith's dispensed of his opportunity to be scrutinies for the mess he's made.



    So a complete blanket law is the appropriate action?

    That's like just putting a sheet of newspaper over your carpet every time it gets a spot of dirt on it. Eventually the luxury of walking on carpet will be replaced by the frustration of walking on newspaper. Admit mistakes were made and clean up your mess properly.

    Absolutely disgusting action from the DWP and others involved.


    If you were a claimant who was owed £500 in compensation, I have little confidence that you'd feel the same way, if you lost such entitlement - justified by 'parliamentary sovereignty'.

    Look there's no thing as a free lunch - these people are getting their JSA and are much better of than the unemployed in other countries so top complaining and look for jobs!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by a729)
    Look there's no thing as a free lunch - these people are getting their JSA and are much better of than the unemployed in other countries so top complaining and look for jobs!
    You're either very naive or incredibly dumb. Probably both. I'll refrain from commenting on your uneducated spiel.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rybee)
    You're either very naive or incredibly dumb. Probably both. I'll refrain from commenting on your uneducated spiel.
    What I said is true- so you can keep your deluded lefty ideal while Greece suffers
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by n00)
    Thats not really saying much though, is it?
    As much as I dislike this legislation, I'd much rather our system, where Parliament can pass any law it wants, than a system where judges can dictate law.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gladders)
    It's a perfectly constitutional measure, and one I am comfortable with. I do not like the law itself but if Parliament wants to make it an Act rather than simply a regulation, it is entirely within its power to do so.
    I though there was something against retrospective legislation? Human rights act or something like that?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aj12)
    I though there was something against retrospective legislation? Human rights act or something like that?
    Yes it's covered under the Human Rights Act. (1998) and the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 7 ECHR forbids punishment for criminal offenses that are introduced by retrospective legislation. However, seeing as the retrospective legislation in the current instance with the DWP is not enforcing any criminal liability or punishment on any person, just withdrawing their right to compensation, such retrospective legislation is deemed not to be a breach of our Human Rights.

    However, I think any retrospective legislation that puts a citizen of the judicial system at a disadvantage is highly unethical and immoral. It's a direct stab in the back to the citizen, from the government.

    The rationale behind introducing retrospective legislation in this instance was made by the DWP was justified by claiming that the 'tax payer will be better off,' as if they've done us a favour. I'm sorry but if anyone is owed financial compensation due to any loss that the DWP's own scheme caused, then I'm happy for my tax money to go to them.

    It's like breaking your neck in a car crash and requiring intensive care and treatment around the clock for the next 12 months and then the government saying 'Actually, you wont receive any compensation towards paying for your medical care because we've done some sums and we've worked out that it'll save everybody 20p on their next insurance renewal and the rest of us will all be be better off if you can't claim. Hope that's okay, yeah?'

    They wont compensate people for their own **** up. Horrific decision.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aj12)
    I though there was something against retrospective legislation? Human rights act or something like that?
    EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

    42. The Government considers that the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR"). Accordingly, the Minister in charge of the Bill, the Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, has made a statement under section 19(1) (a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 to this effect.

    43. In the event that it were to be considered that the proposed legislation interfered with property rights under Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR, the Government considers that any such interference is justified as there are compelling public interest reasons for doing so, given the significant cost to the public purse of repaying previously sanctioned benefits, and as the aim of the proposed legislation is intended to restore the law to that which Parliament intended.

    44. A claimant might also argue that legislation which removes their right to a a refund of sanctioned benefits, or allows the Secretary of State to impose a sanction, notwithstanding the Court of Appeal’s decision, is a breach of their right of access to court under ECHR Article 6.

    45. If no legal claim has been brought on the grounds that the ESE Regulations are ultra vires and/or that the notice issued under them is non-compliant prior to the enactment of the proposed legislation, the Government considers that Article 6 is not engaged at all since the claim to entitlement to benefit, and any dispute regarding a benefit decision thereon which would require access to the courts, remains hypothetical.

    46. Similarly, for cases where the Secretary of State has not yet made a sanction decision, the Government considers that Article 6 will not be engaged as there will be no potential dispute about the right - the effect of the legislation will be that there can be no right to object to the sanction on the notice or vires grounds.

    47. Even if the proposed legislation would interfere with a right of access to court, the Government considers that the interference is justified for similar reasons as for Article 1 of Protocol 1.

    48. These issues were considered in Stran Greek Refineries and Stratis Andreadis v Greece (09.12.1994) and National & Provincial Building Societies v UK (23.10.1997). As with that latter case, the legislation would have the effect of closing a loophole in order to give effect to the original intention of Parliament, which is not disputed.
    http://www.publications.parliament.u.../2013149en.htm

    I doubt they're all that worried, where's a claimant going to get the money to take this on? Why would they bother when the government have already shown they will do absolutely anything to ensure they don't lose?
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    The government knows the common sense of the judiciary is the main thing standing in their way as they try ever more desperately to erode our human rights.

    I hope everyone realises that this is the motivation behind the calls for withdrawal from the EU and from the ECHR. Workers' rights are also taking a beating, hence the reason why divide-and-rule rhetoric has been used to set low-income jobless and low-income earners against each other.

    I predict we will look back on these times as a black period for our country.

    I sincerely hope the government is challenged on this and on other human rights issues such as secret courts and dragged through the European Court with the whole world watching.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gladders)
    As much as I dislike this legislation, I'd much rather our system, where Parliament can pass any law it wants, than a system where judges can dictate law.
    Are judges dictating law in this instance? Seems a huge abuse of Parliament's power to pass any law it wants when they start using it purely to cover up the incompetence of the DWP.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: March 17, 2013
Poll
Which web browser do you use?
General election 2017 on TSR
Register to vote

Registering to vote?

Check out our guide for everything you need to know

Manifesto snapshots

Manifesto Snapshots

All you need to know about the 2017 party manifestos

Party Leader questions

Party Leader Q&A

Ask political party leaders your questions

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.