Anyone who took part in the hearing has the right to appeal to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) if they are dissatisfied with the decision or any part of the decision.
In some situations, the decision will be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal. This means that the licence can't be used until the appeal is resolved.
An appeal must be lodged with ARLA within 10 working days after the DLC decision is supplied. You must submit a notice of appeal to ARLA and provide a copy to the Secretary of the DLC and the other parties to the hearing.
Police, Inspectors and the Medical Officer of Health are not required to pay a fee.
If the application was first considered by a DLC, the only appeal right is to ARLA. Decisions of the Authority can be appealed to the High Court, then to the Court of Appeal and up to the Supreme Court.
Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority (ARLA)
This section covers:
- What is ARLA?
- Membership of ARLA
- ARLA as a Commission of Inquiry
- How are ARLA hearings run?
- Can I appeal a decision of the Authority?
What is ARLA?
ARLA is the overarching national body set up to ensure that the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is fairly applied. Its functions are to:
- determine applications for new and renewed licences and Manager's Certificates that have been referred to it by DLCs
- determine appeals against
- decisions of DLCs
- draft local alcohol policies
- give direction or statements to DLCs
- advise people of the appropriate DLC to go to
- refer matters to DLC for inquiry and report
- determine enforcement applications – variation, suspension or cancellation of licences and Manager's Certificates
- perform any other functions conferred on it by any Act.
Membership of ARLA
ARLA can consist of up to three District Court Judges (one of whom is the chairperson) and any number of other members. Members are normally appointed for a term of up to five years.
At present, the Authority comprises a chairperson (who is a District Court Judge) and three members.
ARLA as a Commission of Inquiry
The Authority has the powers of a Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908. A Commission of Inquiry is an inquisitorial system rather than an adversarial system. An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court is actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system, where the role of the court is primarily that of an impartial referee between the parties. ARLA can summon witnesses, require documentation, and award costs (to a limited extent).
How are ARLA hearings run?
ARLA hearings are similar to DLC hearings, but generally more formal, as they are run by a District Court Judge. You can read more detailed guidance about ARLA hearings at the Toolbox.
All parties or their legal representatives can appear and speak at the hearing. They can also call, examine and cross-examine witnesses. 'Parties' include the person applying for a licence or Manager's Certificate.
If you are a party to an application or appeal, you may be represented by an agent if the Authority gives approval beforehand.
During a hearing, the person applying for a licence or Manager's Certificate will make their submissions and give their evidence first.
You should provide typed submissions, and copies of any supporting documents, to the Authority and all other parties on the day of the hearing.
ARLA will give its decision in writing after the hearing.
Can I appeal a decision of the Authority?
Any party in a proceeding may appeal the decision of the Authority to the High Court. If you want to appeal a decision of the Authority, the appeal must be made to the High Court within 10 working days after notice of the decision has been given to you.
ARLA issues practice notes on different areas of the Act eg, caterers' licences, single area alcohol displays, licence renewals.