Pubwatch bans proved legal...again

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Law, Court of appeal

Pubwatch bans are legal, says court
Pubwatch bans are legal, says court
The right of pubwatch groups to ban people from venues has been upheld once more at the Court of Appeal following an appeal by a man against his ban handed out by Buckingham Pubwatch.

The right of pubwatch groups to ban people from venues has been upheld once more at the Court of Appeal.

Matthew Proud appealed after High Court judge Mr Ockelton QC said he could not seek a judicial review of his ban handed out by Buckingham Pubwatch. A second request by Proud for an oral hearing also failed.

But the Right Honourable Lady Justice Buxton at the Court of Appeal has now rejected the request to appeal. There is no further opportunity for appeal.

JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin famously funded Buckingham Pubwatch's legal costs.

Poppleston Allen partner Clare Eames, who handled the case, said: "The ins and outs of the legal case can be neatly summarised as turning on one particular point: whether or not it was possible for the Court to regard the pubwatch scheme as a public body or as one involving a public function, which would make its decisions capable of Judicial Review.

"The Right Honourable Lady Justice Buxton in giving her written decision, made it clear that the role of the pubwatch is limited to assisting the licensees and could not be considered to be a public body.

"The effect of this is that the Courts have confirmed on three occasions that the work of pubwatch schemes is not an area that the Court should interfere in.

"Reference was made to the role of the police in the pubwatch scheme.

However, again, Right Honourable Lady Justice Buxton indicated clearly that licensees do not act on behalf of the police and although the police no-doubt welcome the existence of the scheme, it is clear that their role is limited to assisting the licensees and not vice versa.

Eames added: "This is a welcome decision for all pubwatch schemes and indeed Local Authorities and Police Licensing Officers around the country. Had Mr Proud's claim been successful, then the very future of pubwatch would have hung in the balance."

Related topics: Legislation

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