On 25 May 2016, the House of Lords appointed an ad hoc Select Committee to investigate the issues relating to the effectiveness and impact of the Licensing Act 2003 (which came into force in 2005). The Committee is made up of 12 members with a range of political party affiliations.

The aim of the Act was to provide a single framework for public authorities to license public entertainments, late night refreshment and the sale of alcohol, which had previously operated under different regimes and separate authorities. The Act liberalised the operating hours for venues selling alcohol and made it possible to license a premises for 24 hours, 7 days a week.

There are significant policy considerations which arise from the Act relating to a number of Government departments including the Home Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department of Health, Business, Innovation and Skills. In catering for these considerations the Act is underpinned by four licensing objectives: (a) the prevention of crime and disorder; (b) public safety; (c) the prevention of public nuisance; and (d) the protection of children from harm.

The new Select Committee is appointed to consider (among other things):

1. To what extent has the Licensing Act met its objective of balancing rights and responsibilities?

2. Are the four licensing objectives underpinning the Act the right ones?

3. Has the Act proved sufficiently flexible to address changing circumstances?

4. What lessons can policy makers draw from the changes made to the licensing regime since its implementation in 2005?

The Committee will consider and report on the Licensing Act 2003 with a reporting deadline of 31 March 2017.

Watch this space…..

For further information, please contact Paul Jagger on pjagger@glovers.co.uk