07 June 2017
A new law to regulate the sale of alcohol in Jersey has been lodged today. It is the first of three pieces of work intended to modernise and improve the management of alcohol licences in the Island.
P.54/2017 Draft Liquor Licensing (Jersey) Law
The next step is to develop subordinate regulations that will outline the different types of licence and set the detailed rules for operation of the licensed sector. At the same time, a ‘Statement of Licensing Policy’ will be developed which will offer the public and the industry a detailed policy framework for the licensed trade for the first time. The regulations and Statement of Licensing Policy will together describe the approach to be taken by the Licensing Authority to new licences, the treatment of existing licences and general conditions that apply either to the industry as a whole or to specific areas of concern. It is anticipated that this additional work will be completed in 2018, following full public consultation and with the benefit of input from the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel.
The whole project has been developed by a working group called the Shadow Alcohol and Licensing Policy Group (SALPG) . The law is being lodged by the Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Connétable Steve Pallett, as it falls within the Department’s remit, but all members have had significant input.
The key changes in the new system brought in by the law will be
- licences will be decided by a new Licensing Authority comprised of politicians and laymen (broadly similar to the Planning Committee but chaired by a non-States Member)
- the Panel will meet monthly, not four times per year as currently
- licences will be assessed against published criteria agreed by the States after consultation, instead of being assessed by the Court
- the Alcohol and Licensing Policy Group (based on the SALPG membership) will be created to oversee the operation of the law and licensing policy generally
- five key principles will be established to underpin the policy on licence consideration, requiring that it serves
- to help reduce alcohol-related crime
- to better secure public safety
- to help prevent public nuisance
- to help protect children from alcohol related harm
- to better protect and improve public health
The report accompanying the law provides a full breakdown of the changes.
Chair of the SALPG, Senator Paul Routier, said “The law is the first step in a project that will allow Jersey to have an open and honest conversation about our relationship with alcohol. The public and industry stakeholders will be able to clearly see the policy that underlies the licensing system for the first time, and it will be democratically debated.”
Connétable Steve Pallett said “We will be engaging with stakeholders and States Members over the coming weeks to ensure that the proposed licensing framework is well understood. The Island has waited for two decades for a modern, flexible and easier to use system for licensing all establishments that sell alcohol. We remain committed to working with all interested parties as we move to consider the necessary regulations and the initial Statement of Licensing Policy that will determine how applications will be considered in future.”