News When do Interim Steps cease?

Judge Roscoe's recent decision confirms that Interim Steps continue until the end of the appeal process

  • Date: 25 July 2014
  • Author/Solicitor: Nick Walton

"I wrote about the continuance of Interim Steps following a Summary Review in July 2013 [click here to read previous article ].

Dingermans J confirmed that Interim Steps should remain in force until time for appealing a Review had expired and any appeal had been determined.

At the time there was discussion within the licensing community regarding the Judgment and whether it represented a binding authority which should be followed by Courts subsequently. A recent Judgment in the Magistrates' Court whilst not binding on any higher Court crystallises the discussion for all Licensing Practitioners.

The starting point was a Summary Review of a Premises Licence held by Mayfair Reality Ltd by the Metropolitan Police. At the Interim Steps hearing the Premises Licence was suspended. At the substantive hearing which followed, the Premises Licence was revoked. Following the revocation decision the Premises Licence Holder appealed to the Magistrates' Court.

The Premises Licence Holder continued to sell alcohol during the appeal period (the appeal was set to take place in October 2014) and the Metropolitan Police then issued a Closure Order under Section 21 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 for the unauthorised sale of alcohol by retail by the Premises Licence Holder.

District Judge Roscoe considered whether the Interim Steps which suspended the Premises Licence are still in force. Counsel for the Premises Licence Holder argued that the Interim Steps should fall away at the conclusion of the substantive hearing of the Summary Review and that where the Licensing Authority does not 'ratify' the Interim Steps they remain to the disadvantage of the Premises Licence Holder.

District Judge Roscoe stated in her Judgment that there was an expectation that a successful Premises Licence Holder would make representations to the Licensing Authority for withdrawal of the Interim Steps measure. However, the effect of Section 53C (11) is that Interim Steps remain until the expiry of the period 'if the decision is appealed against, the time the appeal is disposed of'.

Judge Roscoe further commented that 'I have not considered whether or not the decision in 93 Feet East is authoritative or not as I have not relied on it in reaching my decision.

'We are therefore left with two differing interpretations of the Act (Chief Constable of Cheshire v Oates and this decision), by two different District Judges and no further commentary regarding the authoritative nature of 93 Feet East as decided in the High Court.We are grateful to James Rankin who represented the Metropolitan Police for providing the transcript of this Judgment.