Sunday, 19 January 2014

UK Bypasses Scots Law as Scottish Jobseekers to Face English or Welsh Courts

The SNP has condemned the Department for Work and Pensions for its policy that Scottish jobseekers who face any legal action in relation to their use of the Universal Jobsmatch website would face an English or Welsh court – totally bypassing the Scottish court system.

SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn raised the issue with the DWP in July 2013 but has still not yet received clarification regarding the situation.

Mr Hepburn has also written to Lord Wallace, Advocate General for Scotland and the UK government’s Scottish law advisor.

Commenting, Mr Hepburn, said:

“The implications this has for the people of Scotland are extremely concerning. This policy infers that Scottish jobseekers who face any legal action in relation to their use of the website would face an English or Welsh court – totally snubbing the Scottish court system.

“This would pose major complexities and difficulties, not to mention how to ensure an individual receiving job seekers allowance has the ability to travel to an English or Welsh court.

“Although welfare is at present a reserved issue that is no reason to justify completely bypassing the jurisdiction of Scottish courts and the governance of Scottish Law.

“The DWP must clarify this situation – having written to them six months ago raising my concerns they have had more than enough time to respond.

“This highlights why we need a Yes vote – it is a completely ridiculous situation for a Scottish jobseeker using the website in Scotland to then have to face a court hundreds of miles away.

“To completely snub the Scottish law system beggars belief – a Yes vote would ensure Scotland no longer has to endure decisions made by this unfair and skewed Westminster system."
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