The Licensing Sub-Committee Process
The purpose of this piece is to briefly inform our clients on the Licensing Sub-Committee Process.
The Licensing Act establishes the creation of Licensing Sub-Committees:
Section 6(1) of the Licensing Act 2003 states a licensing authority must establish a licensing committee consisting of at least 10 – 15 members.
Section 9(1) of the Act states a licensing committee may establish one of more sub-committees consisting of 3 members of the committee.
What is function of a Sub-Committee?
1. To consider and determine applications in respect of the following:
- The grant, renewal, variation or transfer of any general safety certificate in respect of a sports stadium or regulated stands
- Street trading and markets
- Film classification and any other licensing responsibilities of the authority created by statute and delegated to the committee.
2. To consider and determine the revocation of Licenses and registrations reserved to the licensing committee.
There is statutory guidance and regulations in place that assist with the on the functioning of the Licensing Sub-Committee. These regulations enable the Licensing Sub-Committee to follow clear guidelines on areas such as keeping records, giving notice and deciding on the timing of a hearing.
Three Members generally sit on a Licensing Sub-Committee with the Chairmen being elected on the day."
The Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005 SI 44/2005 and the The Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 SI 78/2005 (“the Regulations”) made under Section 183 of the Act set out the statutory framework for the Licensing Sub-Committee hearings.
Will I be given Notice of a Hearing?
Regulation 6 of the Regulations prescribes the period of notice to be given for a Licensing Committee hearing our barristers can discuss this with you if you feel you have not been notified, notice must be given in writing but it depends on the authority how they wish to give notice (fax email Post) are all acceptable.
Various pieces of information must be sent out with the notice of hearing. These include:
- The rights of attendance, assistance and representation
- The consequences if a party does not attend or is not represented at the hearing.
- The procedure to be followed at the hearing
- Any particular points on which the Licensing Committee considers that it wants clarification from any party at the hearing.
What do I do when I received my notice?
When you receive your notice you must respond to the Licensing Committee informing them of;
- Whether you intend to attend or be represented at the hearing.
- Whether you consider a hearing to be unnecessary.
- Requests for any other people to attend the hearing example; witnesses.
Can I get an adjournment or change the hearing time?
The Guiding regulations do deal with situations where extra time or a change of time needs to take place. One of our Barristers will be able to assist you with this request.
Facts on The Sub-Committee Hearing
- Regulations stipulate that all hearings must be in public.
- A licensing subcommittee can exclude the press and public of the public interest outweighs the public interest in the actual hearing.
- In certain cases hearings can be made private examples include child protection issues.
- The public and press will be excluded when the Sub-Committee are reaching their decision.
Who can make representations at the hearing?
Any responsible authority may make written representation about an application for a premises License and certificate within a specific period, this is generally 28 working days of receipt of the application.
At subcommittee level parties are entitled to
- Give further information in response to a point upon the licensing authority has given notice it wants clarification.
- Question another party if the licensing subcommittee allows it.
- Address the licensing sub committee.
What is the structure of the Sub-Committee hearing?
The Licensing Sub- Committee has the discretionary power to regulate their proceedings and procedures at the hearing. The proceeding will usually take the form of a discussion led by the Authority. Regulations note that the parties must be informed of the outline of the procedure to be adopted at the hearing.
Do the Sub-Committee visit the Premises?
Yes, A subcommittee may at its discretion undertake a site visit of any premises that are the subject of an application
How long does it take for the Sub- Committee to reach a decision?
Usually a Sub-Committee must make its determination at the conclusion of a hearing. However there are cases were a subcommittee will need more time and this can be 5 working days.
The regulations also state clearly that any decision of The Licensing sub-Committee must publish reasons for their decision.
Can I appeal the Sub-Committee decision?
Yes, when the decision has been reached and you wish to appeal. You can take a case to the Magistrates court. This can be taken within 21 days of being notified of the decision. The Subcommittee must keep an accurate record of the decision for 6 years.
Our highly trained barristers can advise on all stages of the Sub-Committee process. They have a proven track record in this area of law and if you have any queries regarding this area or Sub-Committee stage in general you can contact us.
Do you need to appeal a Licensing Sub-Committee decision?
Our Licensing Defence Barristers are here to help!
Get in touch with us for professional advice and assistance
So why choose Licensing Defence Barristers? Simply put, we are leaders in the field of licensing law and our results speak for themselves!
Our professional, results-focussed team of licensing barristers cover the full spectrum of licensing law including Personal licenses, Premises licences, construction of operating schedules, application for designates premises supervisors (DPS), dealing with representations from all relevant parties, advising on conditions, variation of premises licence, reviews of premises licence and transfer of premises licence, closure orders, club premises certificates, temporary event notices and all aspect of investigation and interview relating to potential prosecutions.
Our licensing barristers regularly advise and represent clients from pre-application stage, right through sub-committee and and if necessary, on appeal to any court.
Contact us if you need to discuss any issues relating to your registration.