Is the asylum system broken? – Colin Yeo

SWALA invites you to a lecture to be given by Colin Yeo on 20 September 2022 at 5.00pm.  Bristol Law Centre have kindly agreed to host as both an in-person and online event. The number of in-person spaces is limited so please book early.

• Former Home Secretary Priti Patel claimed that the United Kingdom’s asylum system was broken. The only conceivable response to rising numbers of small boats crossing the Channel is supposedly to send new entrants to Rwanda. Her successor, Suella Braverman, herself a controversial former Attorney-General, seems likely to pick up where Patel left off. But what is really going on behind the headlines and spin?

• Our speaker is Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers in London specialising in immigration, asylum and nationality law. In 2020 he published Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System, a book charting and examining immigration policy over the last thirty years and setting out some ideas for how to start putting things right. Colin also manages the Free Movement immigration law blog (, which he founded in 2007. Colin will take a careful look at the reality of the current asylum system, in which almost all those claiming asylum are eventually recognised as refugees, but only after years of waiting in enforced destitution.

Date Tuesday 20 Sept 2022

Registration 5.00pm

Lecture 5.15pm

End 6.00pm

Venue Bristol Law Centre, 2, The Hide Market, West St, Bristol BS2 0BH

RSVP – Please register with David Gardner ( indicating whether you wish to attend in-person or online. Instructions for online joining will be sent to youin advance of  the lecture.

There is no charge for attending either in-person or online.

SWALA Annual Lecture – Mrs Justice Steyn – 16 March 2022

Of cakes and balances: when rights collide 
Wednesday, 16th March 2022 
5.30pm – 6.30pm @ St John’s Chambers, Bristol 

The South West Administrative Lawyer’s Association invite you to this lecture given by The Honourable Mrs Justice Steyn, Liaison Judge for the Administrative Court in Wales, the Midlands and Western Circuits. 

St John’s Chambers are kindly hosting the event:

5.00pm Refreshments

5.30pm Of cakes and balances: when rights collide

6.30pm Drinks and canapés

To book your place please visit:

We very much hope that you can join us in person, but, if that is not possible, we are also offering this as a hybrid event. If you wish to join remotely please register here.

Brexit Bitesize – SWALA update on the ramifications of leaving the EU

** Postponed **

Regrettably we have had to postpone the Brexit Bitesize seminar due to a lack of take-up, possibly due to the ongoing pandemic.  The seminar was intended to be a free event aimed at providing an accessible overview of the current implications of Brexit and to provide an opportunity to catch-up with colleagues.   We would still like to gauge the level of interest in trying to re-arrange this event and, if you would be interested in attending such an event  in the new year, please let us know by registering your interest by replying to this e-mail at

Speakers and topics 

• Procurement – Laura Wisdom (Burges Salmon)
• Environmental and Planning – Nina Pindham (No 5 Chambers)
• Immigration (EU Settled Status) – Ashley Norman (Bevan Brittan)
• Competition – Matthew O’Regan (St John’s Chambers)
• Subsidy Control – David Owens (Bevan Brittan)

If this event is re-arranged, registration will be required even if you have previously registered to attend either the online or in-person event.

“Covid-19: regulation and redress”

SWALA held a free webinar on 29 April kindly hosted and chaired virtually by Polly Sweeney of Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP.

Speakers and topics

• “Regulating Covid-19: the danger of messy lawmaking through the lens of the right to protest” – Adam Wagner, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers

• “When can you claim for lost income under the Human Rights Act 1998?”- Guy Adams, Barrister, St John’s Chambers


Thursday, 29 April 2021

The video can he viewed here:

SWALA NHS Webinar – 26 November 2020

The South West Administrative Lawyers Association (SWALA) held a webinar on the NHS in association with St John’s Chambers on 26 November 2020

A video of the webinar can be viewed here:

SWALA Survey

SWALA is keen to learn how it might do more to promote its objective of bringing together all practitioners with an interest in Administrative Law in the South West:

  • To promote the development of specialist expertise in administrative and public law in the South West of England.
  • To encourage and support the use of the local jurisdiction of the Administrative Court.
  • To provide a forum for discussion.
  • To encourage education and training.
  • To protect and promote the efficiency and capacity of Courts in the South West of England to deal with administrative and public law matters.

We would therefore be very grateful if you could take few minutes to complete our short online survey.

Human rights issues within the Court of Protection – 31 October 2019, Clark Willmott LLP

SWALA and COPPA held a human rights seminar at Clarke Willmott’s Bristol office on Thursday 31 October 2019.

At the event, which was kindly sponsored by Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, Rhys Hadden (from Serjeants’ Inn) spoke on how ECHR issues may arise within the Court of Protection, including care home closures, restrictions on contact and funding decisions. Also presenting were Sophia Roper (also from Serjeants’ Inn), who looked at pursuing claims under the Human Rights Act following Court of Protection proceedings.