November 18, 2017

Here is the scenario: a local authority licences a hackney carriage or private hire driver. The authority becomes aware of that a serious allegation has been made against the driver: say a sexual assault upon a passenger. A criminal investigation is underway; the driver has been arrested, has exercised his right to silence (on legal advice), and has been released on police bail and is yet to be charged; the passenger’s identity is being kept secret. Can the local authority immediately suspend the driver’s licence pending investigations, with a full hearing to take place at a later date, when it can consider whether to revoke the licence?

Until the case of R. (on the application of Singh and others) v. Cardiff City Council [2012] EHWC 1852 (Admin) it was thought that the answer was yes, it could.

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Charles Holland - 
Barrister

Licensing, chancery/commercial and property barrister.

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