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Premises Licence Review – Local Authority may get away with some procedural defects

Premises Licence Review – Local Authority may get away with some procedural defects

In R (on the application of Achin t/a EF’S Snooker Club) V Stratford Magistrates Court the Police applied for a review of the premises licence following concerns about the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and public nuisance. The licensing sub-committee revoked the applicant’s premises licence. The appellant appealed on the grounds that the notice advertising the review was defective as it had not complied with procedural requirements set out under the relevant regulations (Licensing Act 2003 (Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates) Regulations 2005). In particular, regulation 39 (C) required the application for review state the grounds for the review. The notice had failed to do so. The Court held that where there were procedural defects that the Court should find the approach as set out in the leading case of R v Secretary of State for Home Department EX P Jeyeanthan (2000) 1WLR354. In Jeyeanthan the Court held that when a statutory requirement has not been met the Court was required to make the following considerations.

(i) Whether there have been substantial compliance.

(ii) Whether the non-compliance was capable of being waived.

(iii) And if not, the consequences of non-compliance.

In other words, the Court will stand back and look at what the overall effect has been of the procedural defect. So, not every defect will automatically lead to the setting aside of the decision of the licensing committee. If an applicant is appealing a licensing decision and there has been some procedural defect, then consideration will need to be made as to what the impact has been on the particular decision as to the defect in question. Each case will turn on its own facts.

Blog by Winston Brown

Winston Brown is the Principal Solicitor of Brown & Co Solicitors which specialise in licensing law. If you wish to discuss your matter, please call us on 0203 468 0924, or email us at enquiries@brownandcosolicitors.co.uk.

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