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Burden of proof in licensing appeals

Jeremy Phillips considers whether a recent case has affected the courts’ approach in licence reviews, as well as changes to the requirements for low-level lotteries

24 January 2017

In recent months the Divisional Court case of Mehrdad Kaivanpor v Director of Public Prosecutions [2015] EWHC 4127 (Admin) has been exercising licensing practitioners after it was suggested that it fundamentally altered the approach to be taken to licensing appeals. Here I consider briefly whether it does, in fact, have that effect.

Before I do that, however, it may be useful if I summarise just what the conventional approach has been. To do this, one need look no further than the decision of Clare Montgomery QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, in R (Developing Retail Ltd) v East Hampshire Magistrates’ Court [2011] EWHC 618 (Admin), where she explained the practical consequences of R (Hope and Glory Public House Ltd) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2011] EWCA Civ 31 in these terms:

‘In deciding whether the decision of the licensing committee...

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