This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 13 June 2023, 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Location: In-person only
    De Grey Court, York St John University, Lord Mayor's Walk (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

From the impact of Brexit on our legal rights to the rising demand for legal support for family, housing and welfare problems, the question of public access to justice has never been more topical.

Come along to this panel discussion, hosted by Citizens Advice York (CAY), to engage with and better understand the workings of our justice system, and to talk about it with people who are directly involved with the law. 

This event is linked to CAY’s mission to support, inform and campaign on public welfare issues, and will enable you to participate in important conversations about the rediscovery and rebuilding of our access to justice.

After short presentations from a judge, a legal researcher and providers of legal advice, you will be able to share your own opinions and thoughts on the current state of access to justice and discuss how it can be improved. 

Join our panel to have your say and to learn more about our justice system.

Citizens Advice York

Citizens Advice York (affiliated with the national Citizens Advice) is one of the largest charitable organisations providing advice to York residents. Their staff and volunteers inform and support those seeking advice on welfare and benefits, on housing, employment and health problems, and on tax, debt and financial difficulties. Their work includes the provision of advice on family law problems and access to support in court from Mackenzie friends via their YorLaw service. In addition to advice work, they advocate and campaign on the issues which clients bring to them. They analyse the information they receive and use clients’ experiences to gain deeper insight into welfare, legal and related issues, which they have identified as systemic and discriminatory. They then use this research to campaign for positive change.

Find out more about Citizens Advice York

About the speakers

Sara Boulton is a Trustee of Citizens Advice York and a solicitor and Director of the Baroness Hale Legal Clinic, which gives free legal advice and information to members of the public. She has been a Lecturer at the University of York Law School since 2016, teaching students both within the Law Clinic and on the Legal Skills and Professionalism and Ethics modules. In collaboration with York St John University Sara also leads a York-based project training students to become Legal Companions assisting litigants in person in the family court.  

Vicky Ling is a Trustee of Citizens Advice York, a Chartered Quality Professional and a Law Society Lexcel Consultant. She served two terms as a member of the Civil Justice Council and takes a particular interest in access to justice issues and support for unrepresented litigants. Vicky was also a member of the Low Commission, which developed a strategy for funding the not-for profit advice sector.

Charlotte O’Brien is a Professor at the University of York Law School with degrees in Law and Social and Political Sciences, and many years of experience of working and volunteering in Citizens Advice offices. She specialises in EU social law and citizenship, and both UK and EU welfare law. Her work brings together textual and empirical study, in particular developing new research methods to study EU law. She led the ESRC-funded EU rights project. Her work has been cited in the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the UK Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Chris Smith leads the Law courses at York St John University as well as the York St John Law Clinic, in which students offer free legal advice and assistance to members of the public and small businesses under the supervision of qualified lawyers. Through this he has become involved in CLOCK York, through which students assist litigants in person with form-filling, organising documents and note-taking during hearings. Chris is also a commercial solicitor with 10 years’ experience in legal practice specialising in commercial and personal injury litigation. He has been in higher education since 2013.

Her Honour Judge Jill Troy, based in Leeds, has been the Designated Family Judge for North Yorkshire since 2019, having been a circuit judge since 2013.

Jo Trythall is a retired family law solicitor. After more than 30 years in private practice, she now coordinates Pro bono family law advice and assistance through the Citizens Advice York service Yorlaw.


Citizens Advice York York St John University University of York

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible