There is an entitlement to appeal in the majority of decisions made by a licensing authority under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003.
Appeals may be made to any Magistrates Court in England or Wales (save for in relation to Closure Orders).
An appeal is commenced by the appellant giving a notice of appeal to the designated officer of the Magistrates Court within a period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by the licensing authority of the decision which has been appealed. Usually this is 21 days from the day in which the decision was notified in writing but that should be confirmed with the licensing authority making the decision.
On determining an appeal the Magistrates Court may:
- dismiss the appeal;
- substitute for the decision appealed against any other decision which could have been made by the licensing authority; or
- remit the case for the licensing authority to dispose of it in accordance with the direction of the court; and
- make such order as to costs as it thinks fit.
All parties should be aware that the court may make an order for one party to pay another party’s costs.
Appeals cannot be made against a licensing authority’s decision to refuse a minor variation application.
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