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Procedure forHearingsof LicensingMatters


Delegated authority is given to the LicensingCommittee (referred to as ‘the Committee’ in this Appendix A) to amenditsproceduresfromtime to time to complywith legislative requirements and in theinterests of fairness andefficiency.


LicensingAct 2003HearingRegulations -HearingProcedure


1.0      Introduction


1.1       The Licensing Committee or a sub-committee of the Licensing Committee sitting as a HearingPanel acts as a quasi-judicial body.This means thatit must follow the rules ofnaturaljustice byensuringthat:


·                     applicants andlicensees knowin advance and in reasonable detail anythingthatis claimed or alleged againstthem;

·                     all parties are given aproperopportunityto presenttheirviews;

·                     onlyrelevant mattersare considered; and

·                     the decision takenisreasonable.


1.2       A HearingPanelwillalso have regardto:


·                     the HumanRights Act 1998;

·                     Guidanceissuedunder Section 182 ofthe LicensingAct 2003 (hereinaftercalledthe “2003 Act” in this Appendix A); and

·                     the council’sStatementof LicensingPolicy under the 2003 Act.


1.3       Where aHearing Panel chooses to depart from the guidance and/orthe council’s Statementof Licensing Policy,it mustgive its reasons for doingso.


2.0      Definitions


2.1       In this documentthefollowingdefinitions apply:


·                     “applicant/licenseemeans the personwho has madean application for alicence under the 2003Act or a personwho has served notice ofa temporaryeventin accordance withthe 2003Act or a person who is the holder ofa licence under the 2003Act;


·                     “representation” means asubmission by aresponsible authority or interested partyunder the 2003 Act,whether made in response to a consultation, by application forreview or served inthe form ofa notice;


·                     partyto a hearingmeans a personto whomnoticeof the hearinghas been givenin accordance withcolumn4 ofSchedule 1attachedor who is otherwise entitled to speak ata hearing;


·                     “member ofthe LicensingAuthoritymeans aMember sittingasa member ofthe LicensingSub- Committee (hereinaftercalled aHearingPanel),or anOfficer whohas been appointed bythe councilas a properofficer ofthe Licensing Authority,to carryoutthe following functions:


·                     to provide any advicethatMembers require to fulfil their functions whether ornot itis asked for on:


-                     questions oflaw;

-                     questions ofmixedlaw andfact;

-                     matters of practice andprocedure;

-                     the range ofoptions available to the Hearing Panel;

-                     anyrelevant decisions ofthe courts;

-                     relevantnational guidance or local policy;

-                     other issues relevant to the matter before the Hearing Panel;

-                     the appropriate decision makingstructure to be appliedin anycase;

-                     assistance on the formulation of reasons andrecordingdecisions;

-                     the questioning of anyparty to ahearing; or

-                     assistance to any party to clarifyevidence andissues


·                     “discussion” meansexamination by argument anddebate


·                     cross examination”means the examinationof a partyor witness with aview to queryingor questioninghis or her evidence.


3.0      Composition of licensing hearing panels


3.1       The Licensing Hearing Panel shall consist of three Members.  Members of the Panel shall neither represent nor have a connection with the appellant, complainant, the ward in which the appellant or complainant resides or the ward in which any premises concerned are located nor themselves live within the vicinity of any premises under consideration.


           Hearings willbeheld in accordancewith Schedule1 below which     sets out:



Provision under awhicha hearing may beheld


The periodof time withinwhichthe hearing musttake place


The periodof notice that must be given aboutthe hearing


The persons to whomnotice ofthe hearing willbe given


The documents thatwillaccompanythe notice ofthe hearing(ifany)



The periodof time withinwhicha partyto a hearing must confirmwhether or not theyintendto appear


4.0      Noticeof Hearing


4.1       A notice ofhearingshallbe accompanied by the following:


·                     the rights ofa partyto ahearing(see paragraph5 below);

·                     the consequences ofnon-attendance;

·                     the procedure to be followed atthe hearing;

·                     any particular pointson whichthe LicensingAuthority willwant clarification atthe hearing; and

·                     any other documents in accordance withColumn5 ofSchedule 1.


5.0      Rights of aParty toa Hearing


5.1       A party to ahearing:


·                     may be assistedor represented,whether or not that personis legallyqualified;

·                     is entitled to give furtherinformationinsupportof his, her or theirapplication or representation where the LicensingAuthority has given notice thatclarification on certain pointsisrequired;

·                     may question anyother party (includingthe applicant)if given permission to do so by the LicensingAuthority;

·                     may address the LicensingAuthority;

·                     must be aware that, inthe eventof non-attendance,the hearing may proceed inhis, her or their absence.However,ifa partyhasindicatedthat theyintendto attendthe hearingbut failto do so,the Licensing Authority may,whereit isinthe publicinterest, adjournthe hearing to aspecified date(butsee paragraph6 below).Alternatively,the hearingmay be held inthat party’s absence (inwhichcase the LicensingAuthoritywillconsider the application, representation or notice made by the absent party); and

·                     willbe advised oftheprocedure to be followed(see Schedule 2 below).


5.2       The following apply:


·                     a partyto a hearing mustconfine his, her or theirsubmission to the information given in his, her ortheir applicationor representation unless they are asked otherwise bythe LicensingAuthority;

·                     parties to ahearing are advisedto arrive not less than 15 minutes before the hearingcommences.  Where a partywho has confirmed thattheyintendto appear ata hearingis unable to do so or isunavoidablydelayed they must contactthe LicensingAuthorityto explainthe reason for his, her or their absence;

·                     each partyto a hearingwillbe allowed anequalmaximum periodof time to exercise the above rights;

·                     the maximum periodto be allowedwillbedetermined atthe commencementof eachhearing; and

·                     where anumber ofinterested parties attenda hearing,allof whom wishto make the same orsimilar points,they willbe invited to appointa spokesperson.  Other interested parties willthen be asked to add anythingthattheyconsider his, her or theirspokesperson has omitted.  It is notnecessary foreach interested partyto repeatthe same points andthe Chairmanof the hearingis expected to be firm on this point.


6.0      Action requiredby party toa hearingfollowingreceipt of noticeof hearing


6.1       A partyto a hearing is required to confirm to the LicensingAuthority withinthe periodset out in Column6 ofSchedule 1 below:


·                     whetheror not theyintendto attendor berepresented;

·                     whethertheyconsider the hearing unnecessary; and

·                     any request, in writing, for permission for any other person to attend(as a witness).  Any such request mustincludethe person’s name and briefdescription of the point(s) that person may be able makein order to assistthe LicensingAuthorityatthe hearing.Any such request willbe considered atthe beginning ofthe hearing butsuch permission shallnot be unreasonablywithheld.



6.2       The following apply:

·                     any such request willbe considered atthecommencementof the hearing; and

·                     the submission ofthewitness must relate to the pointscontainedin the representationmade by the partyon whose behalfthey are appearing.Any othercomment(s)must andwillbe disregarded.


7.0    Dispensingwith ahearing


7.1       The LicensingAuthoritymaydispense with ahearingifallthe parties to it (other thanthe Licensing Authority itself) have given noticeinwritingthat it is unnecessary.  If allparties give suchnotice,the LicensingAuthority,if it agrees,mustgive notice to the parties thatthe hearing has been dispensed withanddetermine the application within10workingdays based on the representations thathave been made inwriting.



8.0      Withdrawalof representation


8.1       A partyto a hearing maywithdrawanyrepresentation bygivingnotice no laterthan 24 hours prior to the commencementof the hearing ororallyat the hearing itself.


8.2       If allrepresentations are withdrawn the applicationwillbeapproved as submitted.


9.0    Adjournments andExtensions of time


9.1       The LicensingAuthoritymay:


·                     extendanytimelimitrelatingto ahearingset outinSchedule1 iffelt in thepublicinterest, providedthat any reviewscan still be determined withintheprescribed timelimitsand providedthatduringthetransitionperiod theapplicationisnot consequently deemed grantor deemed refused;

·                     adjournor holda hearingon additionalspecifieddateswhereit considers thisto be necessary; or

·                     adjournto enable asite meetingto be held.


9.2       Noticewillbegiventoallthepartiesto thehearingstatingtheperiodof theextensionor thedateof there-scheduledhearingandthereasonsfor it.


9.3       Duringthetransitionperiodanyadjournmentor extensionof time willnot re-schedule the hearinglaterthanthe following:





Type ofApplication

Latesttime for hearing

·         Conversionof premiseslicence or club premises certificate

·         Variation ofnew premises

licence ornew club premises certificate

Notlaterthan2 months beginningon the day the applicationwas received by the LicensingAuthority

Application for a personallicence

bythe holder ofa Justices’ Licence

Notlaterthan3 months beginningon the day the applicationwas received bythe



10.0   Hearings in Public


10.1    Hearings willtake place in public,unless the Licensing Authority excludes the publicfromany partof ahearingon the grounds thatthepublic interestin doingso outweighsthe publicinterest inthe hearing(or that part) takingplace in public.


10.2    When the public are excluded froma hearing(or part), anyparty to the hearing, his, her or their representative andany person called by them as awitness mayalso be excluded.


10.3    The Chairman may require anyperson attendingthe hearingwho is behavingina disruptive manner toleave andmay determine whether and with what conditions if any they may return.


11.0   Representations and Supporting Documentation


11.1    Members ofthe LicensingAuthority may ask anyquestion of any partyor other person attendingthe hearing.


11.2    In considering anyrepresentation made by a party,the LicensingAuthority maytakeinto accountsupporting documentaryor otherinformation produced bythat partyeither before the hearingor, with the consentof all the other parties, at the hearing itself.


11.3    If materialis to be introduced atthe hearing,the party must prepare atleastten copies for distributionto the members ofthe LicensingAuthority andthe other parties to the hearingif its submission is permitted.


11.4    The LicensingAuthoritywilldisregard any information given ata hearing thatis not relevantto the matter under consideration.


12.0   Procedure at aHearing


The hearing will proceed in the following order:


12.1    The Chairman will elicit any declarations of interests.


12.2    The Chairman will introduce members ofthe Hearing Panel.


12.3    The Chairmanwillaskthose presentto introduce themselves in the followingorder:


·                     applicant/licensee andanyperson representing or assisting them.(Confirmation also should be given thatcopies ofthe relevant representations to be considered atthe Hearing have been received);

·                     the Officer ofthe LicensingAuthority,the Democratic services OfficerandtheLegalAdvisor to the HearingPanel;

·                     responsible authorities thathave made arelevant representation; and

·                     interested parties who have made arelevant representation. Interested parties shouldconfirmwhethera spokesperson has beennominatedand,ifso identifythem.


12.4    The Chairmanwillaskallparties to the Hearing whether theywish to withdrawtheir application or representation.


12.5    The Chairmanwillaskthe officer ofthe LicensingAuthorityto report:


·                     any requests froma partyto the Hearingfor permission for a witness to appearinsupportof his, her or theirrepresentation.Any such requests willbedetermined by the Hearing Panel; and

·                     any documentaryor other information thata party to the Hearingwishes to present.If there is any such material,the Chairmanwillaskallthe other parties to the Hearingwhether theyconsent to it beingpresented.If they agree,the materialwillbe distributed.If not,this materialmaynot be distributed unless the Chairman wishes it to be.


12.6    The Chairmanwill invitethe applicant/licensee or his, her or their representative to estimate the time required to present his, her or theircase andask questions ofother parties to the Hearing.  The Chairman willthen ask the other parties to the Hearingwhether theywillrequire a longer periodto presenttheir representation and question the applicant.  The HearingPanelwilldetermine the maximumperiodof time allowed for each partyto put his, her or theircase. This decision willbefinal.


12.7    The Chairmanwillaskthe Officer ofthe LicensingAuthorityto summarise the matterunder consideration.


12.8    The Members oftheHearingPanel,the applicant, and those making representations may ask questions oftheOfficer ofthe Licensing Authority.


12.9    Starting withthe applicantor licensee,each partywillexercise his, her or their rightswithintheidentifiedmaximum time,as follows:


·                     each partyto present his, her or theircase, including respondingto any points ofwhichthe LicensingAuthorityhaspreviously given notice, and callanyapproved witness or witnesses insupport of his, her ortheircase; and

·                     if given permission by the Chairman, and onlythroughthe Chairman,each partymayraise questions of anyother party or witness/witnesses.


12.10  The applicant/licensee or his, her or their representative willbe asked to sumup his, her or their case.


13.0   Determination of Applications


13.1    In the case ofa hearingrelatingto:


·                     a counter notice followingpolice objection toa temporaryevent notice; or

·                     a reviewof premises licences followingclosure order;


the LicensingAuthoritymust makeits determination atthe conclusion of the hearing.


13.2    In the case of anyother hearing, the members of the Hearing Panel may choose to determine the case at the conclusion of the hearing or after the hearing within five workingdays.


13.3    If determining the case at the hearing, it is for the members of the Hearing Panel to choose whether to retire to consider the case or discuss the case in front of all parties.


13.4    When determining a case, either during the hearing or after, and whether having retired or deliberating in front of the parties, the following shall apply:


·                     Members of the Hearing Panel will determine the case, not officers or any other parties;

·                     Members of the Hearing Panel will be advised by a Legal Officer;

·                     a Democratic Services Officer will be available to make relevant notes and make a written record of the Panel’s decision;

·                     if Members of the Hearing Panel have a question relating to the relevant legislation or the council’s policies which the Legal officer is unable to address, they may seek the advice of an officer of the council’s Licensing Team; and

·                     if Members of the Hearing Panel wish to attach conditions to an application under consideration they may seek the views of any or all of the parties before determining the case, especially if the details of the possible condition were not discussed with parties during the hearing and/or members of the Hearing Panel do not feel they have as clear a view as possible of the proposed condition’s efficacy, applicability and/or acceptability to any or all of the parties.  


13.5    Once the case has been determined, all parties willbe advised ofthe decision and the reasons for it,together withtheirrightof appeal. If determined at the hearing, the LegalAdvisorto the Hearing Panel willadvise those presentof anyadvice thathasbeen provided duringthe determination. If determined after the hearing, the notification of the outcome shall make reference to any such legal advice provided.


13.6    A determinationmay authorise an officerof the LicensingAuthority to approve an application subject to conditions to be applied inaccordance withthe decision made atthe hearing.


13.7    Whether determined at the hearing or after, the applicant shall be informed of the decision andrights of appealin writingwithin five working days of the hearing.


14.0   Recording Proceedings


14.1    A written recordof proceedings willbe taken andkept for six years fromthe date of the determination or the disposalof anysubsequent appeal,whicheveris thelater.


15.0   Irregularities


15.1    Any irregularity resulting from failure to complywith the LicensingAct 2003(Hearings) Regulations 2005(or any subsequentRegulations) will notof itself render the proceedings voidbut, ifthe LicensingAuthority considers that any person has been prejudiced as a resultof any irregularity,itwilltake steps torectify this before reaching its determination.


15.2    Clericalmistakesinanydocument recordinga determination,or errors in documentation arising from an accidentalslipor omission,may be corrected bythe LicensingAuthority.


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