For everyone who is travelling to York from London for Benefit Sanctions: What’s Next?

Please bear in mind that on Saturday 25th January and Sunday 26th January, there will be no trains going north from London King’s Cross. Travel is uninterrupted from other London situations and this will not affect travel on Monday 27th (trains are scheduled to run as normal from King’s Cross on the 27th). While this is potentially disruptive, we do not expect it to affect too many people’s journeys. We are sharing this to make sure people are aware and ready for the longer travel times if they are planning on travelling over the weekend rather than the Monday. If you run into any issues travelling for this conference, please email Amelie Godfrey.


Much is known about the effects and impact of benefit sanctions. Shortcomings in standards, both across the application of sanctions and processes for appealing them, are well documented and it is recognised that the injustices of this system are visited upon some of the most vulnerable in society. This event is designed to bring together civil society, advisers, researchers and lawyers to help formulate a common strategy to help those affected, and consider what’s next for public law in this space.

We are asking all contributors to consider: What’s next?

10.00: Welcome and aim of the day

Jo Hickman, Director, Public Law Project

10.05: Opening address

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central

10.30 – The impact of benefit sanctions: from research to the front line

Professor Peter Dwyer, University of York

Laura Dewar, Policy Officer, Gingerbread

Ayaz Manji, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, Mind

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research, The Children’s Society

11.30: Refreshments break 

12.00 – 13.00: Morning breakout sessions. Please choose 1 of 3

Option 1: Sanctions, discrimination and county court remedies

Jo Chimes, contributor to Equally Ours Toolkit

Svetlana Kotova, Director of Campaigns and Justice, InclusionLondon

Katy Watts, Public Law Project

Option 2: Benefit sanctions and child poverty

Lynsey Dalton, Child Poverty Action Group

Ellie Thompson, Policy and Research Officer, Trussell Trust

Option 3: Benefit Sanctions, homelessness and destitution

Chris Brill, HomelessLink

Sophie Earnshaw, Shelter

James Stark, Garden Court North

13.00: Lunch

14.00 – 15.00: Afternoon breakout sessions. Please choose 1 of 2

Option 1: Sanctions and administrative justice

Dr Joe Tomlinson, Public Law Project and University of York

Matt Ahluwalia, Public Law Project

Martin Williams, Child Poverty Action Group

Option 2: Benefit sanctions and the role of public law and strategic litigation

Chair: Alison Pickup, Public Law Project

Jamie Burton, Doughty Street Chambers

Polly Glynn, Deighton Pierce Glynn

15.00: Refreshments break

15.20 – Benefit sanctions, human rights and international standards

Chair: Professor Caroline Hunter, Head of York Law School

Sarah Clarke, Public Law Project

Tom Royston, Garden Court North

Professor Philip Alston, Special UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (recorded contribution)

16.00 – Benefit sanctions and public law: Where next? 

Zoe Leventhal, Matrix Chambers

Dr Joe Tomlinson, Public Law Project and University of York

This conference is presented in partnership with the University of York and the support of Garden Court North Chambers.

We have a limited number of subsidised tickets available at £10 + VAT for those whose do not have access to any training budgets or similar, or who are volunteer or lay advisers that feel they have something to contribute to the event.  If applying for  a £10 + VAT ticket we ask that you simply state:

  • In what capacity you advise on, or deal with, benefit sanctions
  • what value you feel the conference would have for you and / or
  • what you would bring to the conference

Please do keep your statement very short – it’s not an essay competition!

Please write to Amelie Godfrey to request a subsidised ticket.

Please note that all bookings are processed manually by our events team. Please allow up to one business day to receive confirmation. 


27 January 2020
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Book now

Leeman Road
YO26 4XJ

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Standard Ticket

Price: £80.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £80.00

Advisers Ticket

Price: £60.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £60.00

Student Ticket

Price: £10.00
VAT: £0.00
Total: £10.00

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This event is fully booked.