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...
This the law behind the “lockdown” announced by the Prime Minister on 24 March 2020 - essentially until now the lockdown has had no legal effect.
As I predicted, the Regulations are made not under the new Coronavirus Act 2020 but instead under the existing powers under s.45C of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.
The Regulations have been made under the emergency procedure under s.45P without the need for Parliamentary approval.
They revoke and replace The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 (“the first Regulations”) which closed down restaurants, cafes, pubs and other leisure venues on 21 March 2020 and about which I have previously written...
As is becoming clear, the Government is placing heavy reliance in its legislative management of this crisis on s.45C of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. I predict that these provisions will be used for the regulations to enforce the so-called “lockdown”).
Persons who carry on these businesses are responsible for closing them: regulation 2(1).
As with the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England)...
‘The rent here may be low, but I believe we have it on very hard terms’, so said Marianne.
We are in lockdown. Italy has Italian tenors serenading neighbours, Spain has Spanish Police dancing in the streets and the UK is about to reveal its method of merriment in lockdown. One thing however is clear: most UK businesses will have no footfall through their doors. Cash flow – the lifeblood of any business – will be severely affected. What then of businesses unable to pay their rent? The Government (by way of amendments to the Coronavirus Bill) proposes to shield businesses from the immediate consequences of not paying rent.
The right of a landlord to bring a business tenancy to an end – by way of re-entry or forfeiture –for non-payment of rent will now not be enforceable during the “relevant period”...
As the world moves rapidly online, and we learn wonderful new words like Zoom and PowWowNow and discover weird new places like Teams, licensing practitioners have been chewing over a thorny question of whether or not local authority meetings, including licensing sub-committee meetings can lawfully be undertaken online, given the provisions of Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requiring votes to be taken by members “present” at a meeting.
This had previously been interpreted by government (in pre-COVID-19 days) as meaning they had to be physically present in a building.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/327) (“the Regulations”) were made at 2pm today, 21 March 2020, under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and come into force immediately. In a sign of the exceptionality of the situation, the Regulations have yet to be laid before Parliament (as permitted by s.45R of the Act): that will happen on Monday.
The Regulations are the means by which the Government gives effect (in England - see below for Wales) to the Prime Minister’s statement in a press conference yesterday 20 March 2020 that “We are collectively telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can, and not to open tomorrow.”
The Regulations apply from the day they come into force...
“What licence do you need to deliver alcohol?” is a question that may be of sudden urgent interest to many operators.
The answer is of course a Licensing Act 2003 premises licence, which authorises premises to be used for the licensable activity of the sale of alcohol by retail, and which doesn’t contain any relevant restrictive conditions.
The premises licence will relate to a particular place: probably a convenience store, an off-licence or a pub or restaurant.
The premises licence must authorise the supply of alcohol for consumption off (or on and off) the premises. You can check this in a box on the second page of the licence.
Finally, there shouldn’t be any conditions that impose restrictions on deliveries. It is unusual for this to be the case.
To stay keep within the law, the alcohol sold has to...
At first instance, the case touched (although did not directly engage) the curious differences between the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 relating to the fee setting regimes for - on the one hand - driver’s licences, and - on the other hand...