A tsunami of fairly grim reading for the embattled licensed trade this afternoon, with the publication of a series of regulations under powers contained in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. As is now this government's style, not a single one has been debated by Parliament, nor in any other meaningful way consulted on with those they affect.
Gerald Gouriet QC and myself are representing the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association as an interested party in the appeal brought by Uber London Limited against the refusal of Transport for London to renew its London PHV operator's licence. Our written submissions can be found on our client's website. The case is being heard by the Deputy Chief Magistrate, oral submissions will be made today, 17 September 2020, and the decision is expected to be reserved.
The case has one short, sweet point: it is a further application of the Re Eastwood principle, which featured in my blog last year on costs in licensing appeals. Re Eastwood (Deceased)  3 W.L.R. 454 (CA) established that the proper method of assessment where government legal services are provided “in house” by employed solicitors is to treat the bill as if it was that of an independent, external solicitor, and so, essentially those are the rates that are recoverable.
As I wrote then, Re Eastwood has survived repeated attack, a recent example being...
The pavement licensing provisions in sections 1-10 of the Act come into force immediately.
The explanatory notes for the Act have yet to appear on the leglislation.gov.uk website. In advance of that, some indication of what they might state can be obtained from the explanatory notes to the Bill.
Topics considered include what comes out of the closure requirements, the importance of risk assessments for venues that are allowed to open, snooker halls and SEVs, the law on gatherings and enforcement..
In what is now becoming the typical 11th hour and 59th minute publication, the regulations to remove the closure restrictions on pubs, bars cafés and restaurants with effect from 4 July 2020 were published at about 3.25 on 3 July 2020.
This article first appeared in the Journal of Licensing for March 2020.
What details should licensing authorities post on their websites about forthcoming hearings to determine applications under the Licensing Act 2003?
Many local authorities will tell you that this is governed by under Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972, which relates to “Access to Meetings and Documents of Certain Authorities, Committees and Sub-Committees”, and that the answer is that the 1972 Act requires the meeting agenda and report to be placed on the local authority website. Quite often you will hear that agendas and reports need to be on the website “five clear days” before the meeting to comply with the 1972 Act.
In this article, I am going to tell you that those local authorities are wrong: one of the many quir...
The Government is rushing through Parliament a new streamlined process for to apply for a “Pavement Licence”. This temporary authorisation will short-circuit the usual suite of consents required under the Highways Act, planning law and (in some cases) street trading regimes. The purpose of the new licence is to help the beleaguered hospitality sector in a time of social distancing. Together with Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides of Kings Chambers, I have co-authored for Nexstart (the National Exit Strategy Advice & Response Team for the Hospitality and Entertainment Industry) a guide on this section of the legislation.
The document will be kept updated as the Bill passes and then to reflect its experience in practice. The current version is V 2.0.
In the last few weeks this blog has been as guilty as others in unleashing a torrent of comment to respond to the torrent of regulations, guidance, practice directions and other verbiage as the legal world struggles to cope with COVD-19.
I'm afraid that isn't going to stop - when I find the time from moving every single object in my flat to a different place and then moving it back, whilst simultaneously ironing every shirt I own and making the entire contents of the "Good Housekeeping" cookbook like it's 1974, I am going to produce my long-promised second article on The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, considering in particular the controversial question of enforcement powers.
But in the meantime, here is the pilot episode of "Coffee & Counsel", where myself...