Welsh Language Commissioner Delivers Message To Westminster in High Court Ruling: Respect The Welsh Tongue

A company operated by the British government has been ordered by the High Court of Wales to reinstate Welsh language services to its customers.  The Court delivered its ruling against The National Savings & Investments (NS&I) as a result of an application for Judicial Review filed by the Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws in 2013.  The suit was in response to the NS&I decision to discontinue offering bank services in the Welsh language. The move by the bank was seen by supporters of the tongue as a violation of the 2011 Welsh Language Measure.  Formerly known as the United Kingdom's Post Office Savings Bank,  NS&I is described on the UK Government's Home Page as follows: "NS&I is a non-ministerial department of Her Majesty's Treasury: A state owned savings bank in the UK. "  

Under the headline “Welsh Language Victory: National Savings Broke The Law By Scrapping (Welsh Language) Service”, the web site “The Daily Post” is reporting on the ruling which is widely viewed as a landmark legal case.  The article states: “The Crown body had been accused of undermining the status of Welsh by axing all its services in the language to save about £96,200 a year, despite being legally obliged to continue under the Welsh Language Act 1993.”

Commissioner Huws continues to champion the Welsh tongue and remains true to her statement when assuming her post: "I will be a voice for the Welsh Language, acting on behalf of Welsh speakers. That is my promise.  As I prepare to undertake this work, my vision is of Wales where the Welsh language is central to public life, where Welsh speakers have the confidence to use Welsh and trust in the law to right any injustice they may suffer for using the Welsh language." 

“My role as Commissioner is to use the power of the law to ensure rights for Welsh speakers, and it is an honour that I have been able to do that. The judgement today is proof that I am able to use my powers to stand up for the Welsh language and its speakers. “The message is clear to Westminster Government departments that provide services in Wales that they cannot decide to revoke Welsh language services on a whim.“I expect to see National Savings and Investments resuming their Welsh language service that they discontinued and that they do that immediately.”  - Meri Huws, Welsh Language Commissioner, On High Court Ruling 



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