Legislation / Legal

ScotGov: Pubs & shops in Scotland will not have to stop selling alcohol just because the manager has not received their personal licence. The plans are designed to give some leeway for managers who have not yet received their licence. This means that those who have gained the licensing qualification and applied for a personal licence by the end of August 2009 will be able to continue trading after September 1.
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires outlets that sell alcohol to have a premise license.  They must also have a designated premise manager, who is required to have a personal licence.
Press release ~ ScotGov - Alcohol ~ Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
DCMSPub and bar owners will now find it cheaper & easier to make changes to their licences.  The new application process for small changes to licences – ‘Minor Variations’ - will save the industry as much as £2.3m a year and make it easier for licensees to change the layout of their premises, serve hot food after 11pm or put on some live music events.
Under the new system the applicant will fill in a short form, pay a flat rate of £89 and will wait no more than 15 days for a response, against 28 days at present and compared to the previous average fee of around £225.  There will also no longer be a requirement to advertise in a newspaper or for the licensee to make responsible authorities aware.
In addition, a new measure to help village halls & community halls has also come into force.  Instead of having to have a designated person apply for a personal licence, responsibility for the supervision of alcohol sales can, on application, fall to the management committee.
For halls with permission to sell alcohol already, the cost to apply for the committee to be collectively responsible will be £23.  For halls applying to sell alcohol for the first time, and wishing to apply for the committee to be collectively responsible, there will not be a fee in addition to the normal licence application fee.
Press release ~ Application forms
MoJ: The new virtual court pilot in Lewisham Police Station has been formally opened by Justice Ministers Bridget Prentice and Claire Ward. Virtual courts free up police time and ensure crimes are dealt with more quickly & effectively.  Cases can be heard within hours of charge via a secure video link between the police station and Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court.
The virtual court will sit at both the court and police station.  The defendant will be online at the police station, with the magistrates or District Judge, legal adviser, CPS and probation service based at the court.  The defendant’s solicitor can be either at the police station or court.
If successful, the London virtual courts pilot, which is coordinated by the London Criminal Justice Board and the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, could generate £2.2m in benefits over the year across the criminal justice system.  A wider roll out across England & Wales could deliver benefits in excess of £10m a year.
Press release ~ London Criminal Justice Board ~ Office for Criminal Justice Reform ~ Virtual court pilot announcement ~ Her Majesty's Courts Service
BIS: Mr Justice Wyn Williams has ruled the UK’s regulations governing the collection, treatment and recycling of electrical & electronic equipment are lawful and entirely consistent with the EU Directive. Producer Compliance Scheme Repic Ltd brought a Judicial Review in the High Court against the Department for Business and the Environment Agency claiming:
* The continued failure of the Environment Agency to take enforcement action against schemes which are deliberately & significantly over-collecting WEEE is unlawful, and
* The UK WEEE Regulations are unlawful insofar as they fail to provide any mechanism to prevent schemes from charging excessive prices for evidence notes at the end of each compliance period
Ian Lucas MP, Minister for Business, said: “The UK system has made a successful start with the UK recycling the equivalent of roughly 7kg per head of population last year, far in excess of the 4kg requirement set by the European Commission”.
Press release ~ BIS - WEEE ~ EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive