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Licensing Act 2003

Section 120 – Determination of application for grant

197.This section prescribes the manner in which a licensing authority must determine an application for a personal licence. The criteria for the grant of a licence are that:

  • the applicant is at least 18 years old

  • he possesses an accredited licensing qualification or is of a prescribed description (see paragraph 200)

  • he has not had a personal licence forfeited in the previous five years

  • he has not been convicted of any relevant offences (see Schedule 4) or foreign offences (see paragraph 191)

198.Subsections (3) to (6) provide that the licensing authority must reject the application for a personal licence if the applicant fails to meet one of the first three eligibility criteria. If these are met but the applicant has been convicted of a relevant offence or a foreign offence, the licensing authority may grant the personal licence only after consulting the police. The chief officer of police must have regard to the conviction for any relevant offence, or for any foreign offence which he considers comparable to a relevant offence. Within 14 days of being notified, the chief officer must give to the licensing authority notice of objection to the grant of a licence if he is satisfied that granting the licence would undermine the prevention of crime and disorder (referred to here as “the crime prevention objective”). In the absence of such an objection, the licensing authority must grant the application.

199.When an objection is lodged by the police, the licensing authority must hold a hearing to decide whether to reject or grant the licence, and must give reasons for its decision. The need for a hearing may be dispensed with by agreement of the authority, the applicant and the police.

200.For the purpose of this section, the ‘licensing qualification’ must be recognised by the Secretary of State (by administrative action) or must be an equivalent qualification obtained in Scotland, Northern Ireland or an EEA state other than the UK.

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