Consultation on Scottish Regulators Code of Practice

A FOLLOW UP TO MY BLOG ON BETTER REGULATION AND LICENSING: THE RELEASE BY THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT OF A CONSULTATION ON A CODE OF PRACTICE FOR “SCOTTISH REGULATORS” UNDER THE BETTER REGULATION (SCOTLAND) BILL.

My previous blog, which looks at licensing implications of the Better Regulation Bill, can be accessed here. In it I discuss the new requirement for a group of public bodies known for the purposes of this Bill as “Scottish Regulators” to take into account sustainable economic growth in their decision making. The list of regulators includes Scottish local authorities, but not Scottish licensing boards.

The Scottish Government has now released a consultation on the creation of a “Code of Practice” for those regulators who are to be affected by all this. The consultation can be accessed here. The deadline for responses is 28 April 2014.

The draft code is attached to the consultation. It is designed to be a “high level” code of practice and one of the fundamental tenets of this whole approach is for the regulators to see themselves as “enablers” as opposed to “refusers”. Ultimately, this is about changing the whole approach to ensure that regulators such as local authorities aim to consider sustainable economic growth as part of their decision making. It is not designed to push this “objective” in place of existing regulatory requirement, but to sit along side those objectives in equal measure.

It will be fascinating to see how all of this will affect licensing decisions, as applications under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 would be affected – including, of course, the new Sexual Entertainment venue licence regime when it comes into play.

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About Stephen McGowan

Leading Scottish licensing solicitor at TLT. Chairman of BII Scotland.
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