Re-thinking alcohol licensing

Re-thinking alcohol licensing

This report was written by Petrina MacNaughton and Evelyn Gillan with input from members of the expert group on public health and licensing, and follows an expert workshop convened by SHAAP and Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) in June 2011 to consider the operation of Scotland’s licensing system and how it could more effectively regulate the availability of alcohol to reduce high levels of alcohol-related harm.

  • Section 1 of the report considers the trends in alcohol consumption; levels and patterns of alcohol harm; diversification of retail practices and changing drinking behaviour in Scotland.
  • Section 2 provides an overview of the history of licensing in Scotland.
  • Section 3 considers the policy context of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 which moved licensing from an application-driven process to a policy-driven one.
  • Section 4 considers how licensing boards have sought to interpret and promote the licensing objective to protect and improve public health and the perceived difficulties they face.
  • Section 5 considers what action boards can take to promote the public health objective within the existing legislative framework. This section also offers recommendations for consideration by Scottish Ministers that would clarify certain provisions of the 2005 Act and better serve the public interest in licensing policy and practice.
File Name: Re-thinking alcohol licensing, September 2011.pdf
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Created Date: 15th Sep 2011
Last Updated: 15th Apr 2019