Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005: Seminar paper

Posted On: 15 February 2008

Author: Scott Blair

Download full article: Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005: Seminar paper [pdf-760kB]

This paper was originally delivered on 4 February 2008 at a CPD seminar organised jointly by the Murray Stable and Legal Services Agency Ltd, and is reproduced with their kind permission.


These Notes are detailed but they are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the 2005 Act.  So where a section or schedule, or a part of a section or schedule, does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.

The whole Act is covered in this paper save that I have not reproduced Schedules 1, 2, 4, 6 or 7.  I will not have anything like the time to go through all of it in the time available but will try to concentrate on the key provisions.  I have not reproduced the Regulations made under the Act nor have I referred to all of them.  

The Act is in effect as at 5am on 1 September 2009.  From 1 February 2008 we entered a period of transition from the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 to the new Act.  I will deal with transition as a separate issue. 

The Act is in 9 Parts. These are:
• Part 1 - Core provisions
• Part 2 - Licensing bodies and officers
• Part 3 - Premises licences
• Part 4 - Occasional licences
• Part 5 - Licensed hours
• Part 6 - Personal licences
• Part 7 - Control of order
• Part 8 - Offences
• Part 9 - Miscellaneous and general

The main legislation which currently governs licensing in Scotland is the 1976 Act as amended and the Licensed Premises (Exclusion of Certain Persons) Act 1980.  The 2005 Act repeals this legislation.

The Act adopts most, but not all of the recommendations of the Committee chaired by Sheriff Principal Nicholson.  It is also influenced by the [English] Licensing Act 2003, although there are some real differences as well.

There is a mass of regulations, final and draft, surrounding the Act.  I cannot cover them all, not least because some are still in draft form. More will be issued as well.

For reasons of ease of presentation and understanding I may deal with the Parts of the Act in a different order from which they appear.

I will look at the philosophy of the new Act, the new personnel of licensing, premises and personal licences, the hours of opening.

I will then look at occasional licences and appeals and judicial review.

Having set the general scene in some detail, I will look at transition from the 1976 Act to the 2005 Act.   

If time allows I might look at public order and offences under the Act and some of the miscellaneous provisions.

(Continued.  For full article please download using link at the top of the page.)