Barred pubgoer says he will take Pubwatch to European Court of Human Rights

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Human rights

Stuart Rescorla says his pub ban breached his human rights
Stuart Rescorla says his pub ban breached his human rights
A customer barred from all pubs in his hometown has vowed to take his fight with Pubwatch to the European Court of Human Rights.

The chairman of National Pubwatch has admitted the organisation will be damaged if Stuart Rescorla succeeds in his bid to challenge a ban handed out by the branch in Padstow, Cornwall.

The 24-year-old has been barred from all pubs in the town until at least November after reportedly breaching an interim ban when he entered the Old Custom House pub this month.

He denies going into the outlet and said the branch has no evidence to support its decision.

He told the PMA he wanted to “take the fight against Pubwatch as far as it needs to go”.

Injustice

Rescorla said: “This is an organisation that does exactly what it wants and goes completely against the standards of justice we have in this country. The law says a man is innocent until proven guilty but Pubwatch just gets to decide the rules.

“I’m sure there are many other people like me, who have been forced out of their local pubs because of a meeting behind closed doors without a chance to defend themselves. How can that be right?

“I have been getting legal advice about taking this to the European Court of Human Rights and it seems like I have a good case.”

Steve Baker, chairman of National Pubwatch, said he backed the Padstow branch’s decision and insisted Rescorla had the right to appeal.

He said: “What about the human rights of other people to enjoy their drink in a pub or the rights of publicans to run their business?”

Precedent

On the potential effects of Rescorla taking his claim to Europe, Baker said: “Pubwatch’s legal basis for enforcing bans is only as strong as the last case. If this man was successful in claiming his human
rights were being infringed then this would set a precedent that judges undoubtedly would refer back to. That would be damaging to Pubwatch.”

Tim Martin, chairman of pubs chain JD Wetherspoon, previously backed Buckingham Pubwatch in a judicial review.

He said: “It’s a vexed issue for publicans. The present law is that it’s a house you are going into and the publican doesn’t have to give a reason to ask you to leave. It’s not a court of law — it’s a situation where you have to make a decision there and then.

“I very often get people saying they have been barred from a particular Wetherspoon’s pub because of a problem with the licensee at another venue. They ask me to help out and
I always tell them — that’s the licensee’s decision and it’s not my place to go against them. That authority is essential to the way pubs work.

“Licensees already have a very difficult job and anything that makes that more difficult is just going to lead to more pub closures.”

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11 comments

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Pub Ban

Posted by Stuart Hudson,

If you want to exclude someone from your pub you have an absolute right. It is a private space and anyone there is there by invitation which may be withdrawn without giving any reason at any time. In my case several people were barred for as long as I remained in the pub.

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Usual ignorance about eights

Posted by Ian Jarmaine,

THE RIGHT TO EXCLUDE.

Summary: This is too often overlooked by people who think they have aright to enter premises. it is an implied right that can be withdrawn, without reason at any time. Members act individually and my money is on he will fizzle out in a few weeks.

Detail: There is an implied permission by public houses to members of the public to enter their premises.

The public house is entitled to revoke that implied permission.

The decision to issue an exclusion notice concerns a private civil right i.e. the right to revoke the implied permission of customers to enter and remain in public houses. It does not concern the exercise of a public function.

Domestic law, supported by European Court of Human Rights permits revocation of the implied licence by a public house whether upon the existence of reasonable grounds or otherwise. Thus the absence of published criteria identifying the circumstances in which a person may be served with an exclusion notice is wholly irrelevant.

The ability to revoke the licence without reason makes procedural safeguards redundant.

The decision to issue an exclusion notice is not a determination of an excludee’s civil rights because the excludee has no civil right to enter and remain in any public houses; they have an implied permission which may be revoked at any time. This decision does not impact upon the exercise of any right on the part of the excludee.

Necessity is irrelevant because public houses are exercising an entitlement in domestic law. The conduct of excludees makes the action taken both necessary and proportionate in that it helps protect public house staff and other customers from theft and abusive behaviour, forces excludees to address their conduct and limits the time that the exclusion is in place.

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Pub Watch

Posted by steve,

Even if this young man won his case every licencee has the individual right not to serve him for whatever time period they wish.So if he does threaten to take his case further maybe a 10 year ban would make him drop it.

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