Cornerstone Barristers hosted a Webinar discussing how many licensing authorities are wondering how the existing licensing hearing regulations work alongside the new remote meetings regulations. Others are wondering how do we make a remote licensing hearing work in practice?
Following on from the success of our two webinars on remote meetings, our speakers; James Findlay QC, Josef Cannon, Ruchi Parekh, Matt Lewin and Ben Du Feu covered the following areas:
The interaction between the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005 and the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020
Giving notice of applications and reviews
Enabling members of the public to attend the hearing
Dealing with the submission of "late" evidence
Allowing questions by members and cross-examination by other parties
Providing confidential legal advice to members, excluding the public and deliberations in private
Making urgent decisions and delegations to officers
Choosing the right platform for hosting the hearing – and keeping it secure
Adopting new rules for making licensing decisions – including rules of procedure
Appeals during the lockdown
For now, although many thousands of licensed premises are closed and a summer's worth of outdoor events have had to be postponed, the licensing system must continue to function.
Among other things, taxis are providing an essential public service and takeaways and off-licences are experiencing surges in demand.
In the current public health emergency, it is vital that licensing authorities adapt to unprecedented circumstances in order to perform their important work.