|25 July 2002|
City Council to seek appeal on High Court sale of liquor decision
The Christchurch City Council has decided to seek leave to go to the Court of Appeal over a High Court decision on action taken under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.
The full Council discussed the matter today (25 July). It has until Monday to put in an application for leave to appeal.
The case and this area of law is of interest to all local bodies which act as District Licensing Agencies (DLAs).
The High Court decision in July relates to controlled purchase operations in Christchurch last year by Christchurch City Council staff, the Police and Crown Public Health. The controlled purchase operations involved people under 18 years visiting off licence premises endeavouring to buy alcohol. The sale of liquor to minors is an offence under the Act.
Outlets which sold to the minors during the operation were reported to the Liquor Licensing Authority for hearing. In April this year the Authority suspended their licences, ranging from three to five days. Its decisions were later appealed to the High Court by all but one party, and the Court allowed the appeals and quashed the suspensions.
According to a report prepared for today's Council meeting, there is an over all concern among the country's DLAs that if this decision remains unchallenged that the importance and impact of sale of liquor administration may be somewhat diminished.
was public excluded. There are two reasons why this is normal practice with
considerations about legal appeals. First, there is a general principle that
public authorities should avoid commenting on public matters that could be construed
to be attempting to influence future court judgements, particularly where the
outcome is not yet concluded. Second, it avoids running possible future legal
arguments through the media.