High Court rule that retrospective legislation in the Cait Reilly Poundland case was unlawful.

Bloody Brilliant … read it and weep Tory Boys!

Politics and Insights


High Court grants declaration of incompatibility of primary legislation with the right to a fair trial after damning assessment of the Department of Work and Pensions’ interference in ongoing cases.

Many thanks to Public Interest Lawyers UK & International Law
In a detailed and critical decision, Mrs Justice Lang considered a challenge brought by Caitlin Reilly and Daniel Hewstone against the 2013 Act following a “series of misjudgments by the DWP” (at [109]). In a previous case, brought by Public Interest Lawyers on Ms Reilly’s behalf, the Court of Appeal had ruled that the regulations introducing back-to-work schemes (the 2011 Regulations) – and sanctions for failing to take part in or meet requirements of the schemes – were unlawful and should be quashed (see the press release here).Following a challenge to emergency, retrospective legislation introduced to remedy mistakes made by the DWP in its ‘Back to Work’…

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6 Responses to High Court rule that retrospective legislation in the Cait Reilly Poundland case was unlawful.

  1. Here’s what some of the Lawyers are saying

    Tessa Gregory, solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers states:

    “Today’s judgment sends Iain Duncan Smith back to the drawing board to make fresh Regulations which are fair and comply with the Court’s ruling. Until that time nobody can be lawfully forced to participate in schemes affected such as the Work Programme and the Community Action Programme. All of those who have been stripped of their benefits have a right to claim the money back that has been unlawfully taken away from them from the DWP.

    The case has revealed that the Department of Work and Pensions was going behind Parliament’s back and failing to obtain Parliamentary approval for the various mandatory work schemes that it was introducing. It also reveals a lack of transparency and fairness in the implementation of these schemes. The Claimants had no information about what could be required of them under the back to work schemes. The Court of Appeal has affirmed the basic constitutional principle that everyone has a right to know and understand why sanctions are being the threatened and imposed against them”


  2. and here’s what Cait Reilly had to say about it

    I am delighted with today’s judgment. I brought this case because I knew it was wrong when I was prevented from doing my voluntary work in a museum and forced to work in Poundland for free for two weeks as part of a scheme known as the sector based work academy. Those two weeks were a complete waste of my time as the experience did not help me get a job, I wasn’t given any training and I was left with no time to do my voluntary work or search for other jobs. The only beneficiary was Poundland, a multi-million pound company. Later I found out that I should never have been told the placement was compulsory.

    I don’t think I am above working in shops like Poundland, I now work part time at the in a supermarket, it’s just that I expect to get paid for working. I hope the Government will now take this opportunity to rethink its strategy and do something which actually builds on young unemployed peoples’ skills and tackles the causes of long-term unemployment. I agree we need to get people back to work but the best way of doing that is by helping them, not punishing them. The Government ought to understand that if they created schemes which actually helped people get back into work then they wouldn’t need to force people to attend.”


  3. Comment from Jamie Wilson (the other appellant in the case)

    “I am really pleased that the Court has found in our favour. I refused to participate in the Community Action Programme (CAP) because I objected to being made to clean furniture for 30 hours a week for 6 months when I knew it wouldn’t help me find employment. I was given next to no information about the programme, I was told simply that I had to do whatever the DWP’s private contractor instructed me to do and that if I didn’t I may lose my benefits. Being without jobseeker’s allowance was very difficult for me but I don’t regret taking a stand as the CAP is a poorly thought out and poorly implemented scheme which even according to the DWP’s own statistics is not helping anyone get people back to work.

    I am now participating in the Work Programme but it doesn’t involve me working for free, I have to meet an advisor every 3 to 4 weeks who helps me look for work. I will continue to attend these sessions with my adviser regardless of whether or not I am required to attend because I want to find a job and the sessions are very helpful.”


  4. Methusalada says:

    Wonderful News Wobbly ! Wondering what to say in a response to IDS in regard to the CAP judgement & other issues ! Just hope that their is an immediate financial contribution from the Government for the torment IDS has created & caused too so many citizens.


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