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Table 1: Distribution of Competencies
Council of Ministers EU Sub-CommitteeUK Government Dept.
General Affairs and External RelationsA, E, C Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Dept. for International Development; Ministry of Defence
Economic and Financial AffairsA, E HM Treasury
Justice and Home AffairsE, F Home Office; Lord Chancellor's Dept.
Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer AffairsD, F, E Dept. For Education and Skills; Dept. of Health; Dept. for Trade and Industry; Dept. for Work and Pensions
Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research)A, B, E Dept. for Trade and Industry
Transport, Telecommunications and EnergyB Dept. for Transport; Dept. of Trade and Industry
Agriculture and FisheriesD Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
EnvironmentD, E Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Education, Youth and CultureF Dept. for Education and Skills; Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport; Home Office

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Table 2
EU Sub-Committees Council of MinistersUK GovernmentDept.
A—Economic and Financial Affairs, Trade and External Relations2. Economic and Financial Affairs. 5. Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research) HM Treasury; Dept. for Trade and Industry
B—Energy, Industry and Transport5. Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research); 6. Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Dept. for Trade and Industry; Dept. for Transport
C—Common Foreign and Security Policy and International Development1. General Affairs and External Relations Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Ministry of Defence; Dept. for International Development
D—Environment, Agriculture, Public Health and Consumer Protection4. Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; 7. Agriculture and Fisheries; 8. Environment Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Dept. of Health; Dept. for Trade and Industry
E—Law and Institutions1. General Affairs and External Relations; 3. Justice and Home Affairs 4. Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; 5. Competitiveness Home Office; Lord Chancellor's Dept.; Law Officers Dept.
F—Social Affairs, Education and Home Affairs3. Justice and Home Affairs; 4. Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; 9. Education, Youth and Culture Dept. for Work and Pensions; Dept. for Education and Skills; Home Office; Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport,

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    The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not covered in this table.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

3.33 p.m.

Licensing Bill [HL]

Further consideration of amendments on Report resumed on Clause 17.

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 60:

    Page 11, line 9, leave out "Regulations may" and insert "The Secretary of State must by regulations"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, the Government gave undertakings in Committee that certain matters relating to administrative and procedural detail would be set out in regulation, not on the face of the Bill itself, to ensure that, should changes be needed in the light of experience, we should not have to amend primary legislation.

The Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform made helpful recommendations: first, that the Bill should provide expressly that regulations under Clause 17(5) and similar provisions must secure that there is an advertising and representations procedure; and, secondly, that there should be an express requirement for consultation in relation to orders under Clause 169. These amendments address those two recommendations.

As a result of amendments in this group, instead of having a discretion, the Secretary of State will have a duty to make regulations providing for an advertising and representations procedure in relation to applications or, in the case of Amendment No. 134, a review following a closure order.

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Amendment No. 229 will insert into Clause 169 a requirement that before making an order to relax opening hours for special occasions, the Secretary of State must consult such persons as she considers appropriate.

Amendment No. 228 has the same effect as government Amendment No. 229, so I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, will not move the amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: My Lords, I am extremely gratified. I thank the Minister for having drawn attention to the fact that Amendment No. 228 is so close to the government amendment. I shall be content not to move it.

Lord Redesdale: My Lords, my amendment is grouped with this one. The Minister has brought forward the issue of regulations and the amendments are very welcome. I had proposed an amendment relating to regulations which would be positive, not negative, in their resolution. I shall read the Minister's remarks carefully. At this stage, I shall not move my proposal on regulations. I shall study the matter closely and retain the hope of bringing back my amendments at the next stage if these provisions do not match up to our expectations.

Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I welcome and support the amendments.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 18 [Determination of application for premises licence]:

[Amendment No. 61 not moved.]

The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale): My Lords, in calling Amendment No. 62, I should inform the House that, if it is agreed to, I cannot call Amendments No. 63 to 66 inclusive.

Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville moved Amendment No. 62:

    Page 11, line 28, leave out subsection (2).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I shall not speak to Amendment No. 63, but shall speak to Amendments Nos. 65, 77 and 78. Thereafter, many of the amendments are consequential.

Amendments Nos. 62, 67 to 70 and 72 deal with the possible violation of convention obligations by a licensing authority that could arise because the licensing authority is compelled to grant a licence pursuant to Clause 18(2) in circumstances when it believes that such a course of action may violate the rights of individuals—even when there are no relevant representations. The DCMS agrees that a licensing authority cannot be put in such a situation but points to Clause 18(1) as giving the licensing authority a power "not to determine the application" in such circumstances at all.

But the convention obligation on the licensing authority is to make a determination and to reach a balanced decision—one that is proportionate, having

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regard to all the circumstances. The DCMS argument is unsatisfactory as refusing to make a determination is an interference in the rights of licensees and others. A determination, once an application is made, is required. That means that a hearing will have to be held and the licensing authority will have to consider representations from those who might be affected. In the light of all the material considerations, the licensing authority would have to make a decision and grant the licence subject to conditions, if appropriate, rather than rejecting or allowing it without modification. Then there would have to be rights of appeal against the decision of the licensing authority.

Clause 18(1) makes no provision for all this. Furthermore, it does not allow the licensing authority to reach a proportionate decision; nor is it drafted with sufficient clarity for it to bear the meaning proposed by the DCMS. If Clause 18(1) were interpreted in the way suggested by the DCMS, that would give rise to great confusion about the role of Clause 18(3). There is correspondence on the matter—from a residents' association in Soho to the Government dated 2nd December 2002; a letter from the Joint Committee, dated 5th December 2002, to the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone; Dr Howells' reply to the Joint Committee, dated 10th January 2003; and a further letter from the residents' association in Soho dated 28th January 2003. All contain important details.

The amendments that I have identified propose to simplify the Bill by, first, leaving Clause 1 to have its original meaning, as set out in the Explanatory Notes—a decision that can be delegated to officers; secondly, to remove Clause 18(2) from the Bill altogether; and, thirdly, to amend Clause 18(3) to allow the licensing authority to determine applications in the light of the licensing objectives, which include the protection of human rights if the amendment to Clause 4 is accepted, and make decisions, including imposing conditions that are proportionate.

Control over abuse of power by the licensing authority would exist through the rights of appeals by licensees, responsible parties and interested parties. If the earlier amendments proposed to Clause 13 were accepted—I believe that they were not—interested parties would comprise all those who have arguable rights to bring convention claims in the courts by virtue of Section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

On Amendment No. 65, in relation to Clause 18(2), the Secretary of State's guidance should make it clear that the licensing authority has power to insert conditions that relate to securing aspects of the licensing objectives in accordance with matters contained in its statement of licensing policy. Otherwise, local licensing policies cannot be effectively met. The Civic Trust, on behalf of whom I moved this amendment, asked for support for that.

Amendments Nos. 77 and 78 are marginally different. The licensing authority is required to give reasons for granting as well as refusing applications, whether or not there are relevant representations to ensure that those who did not or could not make relevant representations can know the reason for the

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decision and can challenge it if they believe that their rights have been violated. Such parties may have no rights of appeal to the magistrates' court, so their avenue of appeal will be to the administrative court by way of judicial review.

I believe that all subsequent amendments are consequential, but if the Minister tells me that I am wrong, I shall have to leave without having spoken to them. It is my impression that they all refer back to the group that I have moved. I beg to move.

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