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SOL Bill
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Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill


61 Managers to be on duty at all times [SOL 115]

Supported for all licence types, including club licences.

Support 115( c) strengthening the legal responsibility of licensees for the actions of their managers.

64. Criteria for manager's certificates.

The requirements for training are strongly supported.

62, 63, 65, 66 and 67. [SOL 119; 120; 121; 124; 125; 126]

Processes for granting managers’ certificates. Supported.

68, Relieving managers. [SOL 128; repeal 129, 130]

Support changes to permit untrained relieving managers for no more than four days a month. Related repeal of 69 and 70 supported.

72. Restraining order

To be repealed. This has never been used. Instead, the Act is strengthened by clause 85, new SOL S.165A, making it an offence to breach the law or licence.

78. Appeals on High Court against LLA decisions on grounds of suitability. [SOL 138]

New 1A will include right of appeal to high court against withdrawal of accreditation.

Strongly opposed.

  • Accreditation is the delegation of the Authority’ s powers to a DLA, in exactly the same way as an inspector also acts on the delegated power of the LLA. This is the delegated regulatory responsibility of the state, not a licence to do business. The LLA and ultimately government remain responsible and must be able to resume that responsibility.
  • If accreditation is enacted, a DLA gets accredited and it turns out that it can’t cope or unsatisfactory decisions appear to be being made, the Authority must be able to resume responsibility at once, not have to fight an appeal through the Courts, which could take years and cost a lot of rate- and tax-payers money.
  • As an administrative tribunal, the LLA would not in any case undertake such a fight. Under S.138 appeals against Authority decisions are in the nature of judicial review by a higher court. The LLA does not have a representative present at an appeal hearing to defend its position - to the surprise of some public objectors.

Oppose appeal on licensee suitability, and recommend repeal of 138. This right of appeal against a specialist court on the key ‘question of fact’ on which it is empowered to grant a licence is unusually wide, compared with licensing law in comparable countries (Hill 1997). In fact 138 allows the high court to ‘hear and receive further evidence’ on all points of fact that the Authority may consider. Appeal on questions of law [SOL S.129] , including whether the decision was reasonable on the evidence should of course be retained.

  • Most comparable Acts allow appeal only on ‘points of law’, often to just one level higher and for some systems this does not take the matter outside the specialist area of decision making and into civil law
  • This wide intervention runs counter to current legal debate, which argues that the higher civil courts should respect the specialist expertise of the tribunals and specialists courts established by Parliament (Taggart 1997)..
  • A recent review of case law under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 concluded that this wide right of review, on top of the narrowly defined and inflexible criteria and licence conditions permitted by the Act, has contributed to rigidity and lack of responsiveness in the licensing system that runs counter to current theories on effective (and cost-effective) regulation (Hill & Stewart 1998). This would, however, be less of a problem with the changes proposed in our Recommended Amendments to the sections on licence criteria and conditions, since the higher court would respect this flexibility, rather than reinforce the current rigidities.

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