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“Careering out of Control”: Decision-Making in Contested Cases under the Licensing Act 2003

By Steven Cammiss and Colin Manchester


Local authority sub-committees, when hearing and determining licence\ud applications, have traditionally followed court-like procedures and have been\ud regarded as acting quasi-judicially. The Licensing Act 2003 introduced important\ud changes in the licensing of alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment, one\ud of which was that licensing hearings would be “discussion led” by sub-committees\ud and it was not envisaged by the Government that sub-committees would perform\ud a quasi-judicial role. This article, based on empirical research conducted primarily\ud in one licensing authority area (with supplementary material from a second\ud licensing authority area), considers how authorities have embraced the new\ud decision-making framework under the 2003 Act. It looks at decision-making in\ud hearings in contested cases and examines, in particular, the extent to which\ud sub-committees have departed from their traditionally adopted court-like format.Peer reviewedPost prin

Topics: Hearings, Licensing, Licensing authorities, Local authorities’ powers and duties
Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell
Year: 2012
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