The cost-of-living crisis is impacting people’s lives with marginalised communities affected disproportionately. This event is about responding to this crisis in the South West, and is presented in partnership with
University of Exeter and University of Exeter Community Law Clinic (CLC), Magdalen Chambers, and University of Plymouth. 

Who this event is for: 

  • Civil society and voluntary organisations in the South West
  • Advisors and lawyers working in the South West 
  • National organisations seeking to support or work with organisations in the South West

As delegates you will: 

  • Identify challenges facing advice services and civil society assisting people in the South West   
  • Gain practical knowledge to assist your clients across welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and immigration and asylum
  • Understand how the law can be used to help people experiencing disadvantage or discrimination
  • Consider how we can improve access to justice in the South West 

Please note:

  • If you are a lay or volunteer adviser, or your organisation has no budget for training you can request a guest place.  Please e-mail
  • This event is in-person only, there will be no recordings of sessions or online access.
  • If you book on to the course now, dietary requirements may not be able to be taken into account.


9:30 –10.00 Arrival   

10.00-10.10 Introductions   

10.10- 11.00 Public Law and Legal Confidence

A short presentation on how public law can help people, especially marginalised communities, access their rights and challenge government decisions affecting them. 

  • Chair: Jo Hynes, Public Law Project
  • Craig Newbury-Jones, Exeter University 
  • Alice Stevens, Public Law Project

11.00 – 11.15 Break   

11.15 – 12.30 Breakouts (Choose 1 of 2) 

1. Challenging recovery of benefits overpayments
This session will consider the DWP’s current policy on waiving recovery of benefit overpayments and the steps that individuals can take to challenge this and prepare effective waiver requests.  The session will also look at the availability of judicial review as a remedy if a waiver request is refused.  Special attention will be paid to overpayments caused by official error and the recent High Court case on this topic of R(K) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

  • Emma Vincent Miller, Public Law Project
  • Vincent Willson, Citizens Advice Teignbridge

2. Employment 

This session will discuss a wide range of employment issues, such as discrimination at work, litigants in person in employment tribunals and unfair dismissal.

  • Chair: Kim McDonald, Exeter Law Clinic
  • Debbie Grennan, Guildhall Chambers

12.30  – 13.00 Strategic legal challenges to unfair Government policies: examples from immigration

  • Rakesh Singh, Public Law Project

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.15 Afternoon breakouts: choose 1 of 2

1. Housing 

This session will look at housing issues during the cost of living crisis. Panellists will discuss, amongst other things, The Renters’ Reform Bill and the positive effects of potentially removing section 21 no fault evictions. 

  • Chair: Natasha Bellinger, Exeter University and Magdalen Chambers
  • Simon Mullings, Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre

2. Immigration and the EUSS

Panelists will discuss unusual EUSS cases, visa issues, family applications, issues re 10 year route, naturalization and registration, and refugee family reunion.  Speakers will also talk to the ongoing capacity issues in immigration advice services in the South West,  and Bristol Law Centre and Bristol Refugee Rights project scoping towards strengthening the sector, as part of the Justice Together Initiative (JTI).

  • Chair: Dr Emma Marshall and Dr Helena Wray, University of Exeter
  • Rosie Brennan, Plymouth University
  • Karen Bowers and Mike Booker, Bristol Law Centre

15.15 Access to Justice Online 

This session looks at the issues surrounding access to justice online, including  the courts crisis, and how legal advice is, or can be, delivered remotely.

  • Chair: Jo Hynes, Public Law Project
  • Lisa Okoroafor, University House Legal Advice centre
  • Professor Sue Prince, Exeter University
  • Jacob Pritchard, Citizens Advice Teignbridge

16.15  Responding to crisis and building capacity
Optional networking session 

16.45 Finish

  • If you have any queries about tickets and programmes, please email the Events Team.
  • Please note that all bookings are manually processed by our Events Team and it might take 2-3 business days to receive confirmation.
  • Parking: There is a Reed Hall car park, with first come first served spaces for Reed Hall. As you come up Streatham Drive on the left hand side half way up there is a barrier car park. You do not need a code to get into the car park but guests will need on when the leave. Guests will need to register their car at the front desk when they first arrive and they will then receive the code to leave.

8 June 2023
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Book now

Reed Hall, University of Exeter, Streatham Drive

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Standard Ticket

Price: £40.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £40.00

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Bookings are closed for this event.