True Wales boycotts Welsh legal jurisdiction consultation

Gavel Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own jurisdictions but England and Wales share one

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A group opposed to the Welsh government having more powers has refused to take part in a consultation about giving the nation a separate legal jurisdiction.

True Wales says it boycotted the consultation, which ended on Tuesday, claiming its purpose was to garner a yes vote.

The Welsh government said its purpose is to identify advantages and disadvantages.

A separate jurisdiction could mean creating a Welsh courts system.

True Wales, which opposed a Yes vote in the referendum on law-making powers last year, said in a statement: "We believe that the existing shared jurisdiction between England and Wales is a fundamental part of our union.

"The creation of a Wales only jurisdiction would not only create serious cross border anomalies but would also be another significant step towards separation from the United Kingdom."

In March, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan poured scorn on the 12-week consultation about creating a separate court system from England.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own jurisdictions but England and Wales share one.

Even if laws passed by the assembly only apply to Wales, they are still part of the law of England and Wales.

A separate jurisdiction could mean creating a Welsh judiciary as well as a courts system.

It could also mean cases relating to laws passed by the assembly can only be heard in Welsh courts.

The Welsh government says there has been an increasing divergence between the law in England and Wales since devolution in 1999.

It said that following last year's referendum in favour of direct law-making powers for the assembly "there has been much discussion about whether or not Wales should also be a separate legal jurisdiction".

Opening the consultation in March, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "We now feel it essential that we have a public debate on whether or not Wales should be a separate legal jurisdiction, and the implications this could have for Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom."

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