consultant, which in turn exhibited an unsigned statement from a third consultant. Neither the second nor third consultants could be located - said the licensee - by the time the appeal was heard. At the conclusion of the licensee's case, the District Judge indicated that he was considering dismissing the appeal. He wished to receive submissions as to the existence and extent of his powers. Hackney submitted that he did have such a power, relying on the case of Mayes v Mayes [1971] 2 All ER 397 - provided that the appellant was given the opportunity to address the court. The District Judge agreed, and invited submissions on behalf of the licensee as to why the appeal should not be dismissed. On behalf of the licensee it was suggested that the District Judge should instead recuse himself for bias. The District Judge having declined to recuse himself for bias (on the licensee's application) instead determined that he would dismiss the appeal. A written judgment followed, and Hackney was awarded its costs. Critical to the District Judge's determination was his conclusion about the “dishonesty” and “untrustworthiness” of the licensee, and the relevance of those findings to the impact on the licensing objectives. In his judgment: “… he [the licensee] was a dishonest witness who repeatedly used the tactic of denying responsibility for the poor running of licensed premises with which he had, in fact, had a close relationship. I considered that my conclusion that he was dishonest, particularly in relation to the running of licensed premises, fed directly into the grounds upon which the Appellant sought to base his appeal. “For example, the Appellant sought to deal with Hackney's concerns about the 'stockpiling' of alcohol, which would then be consumed between the end of the licensing hours and closing time, by way of an assurance (supported by a condition on the licence) that he would instruct staff not to permit stockpiling. In light of my findings in relation to the Appellant's dishonesty I considered that such an assurance was, at best, highly questionable and, at worst, worthless.' “It must be open to me to make my own assessment of the Appellant's credibility. This could not be contingent upon Hackney having to raise the issue. In relation to any impact on the licensing objectives, I gave the examples of [the licensee's] assurances that he would not permit the stockpiling of alcohol and how my assessment of his dishonesty undermined the value of such an assurance. This point coupled with the proposed late opening hour led directly into the risk of public nuisance being caused in the early hours of the morning”. The District Judge proceeded to consider these findings under the heading of the prevention of public nuisance. A risk of public nuisance was created by the stockpiling of alcohol in that it “creates the distinct possibility of patrons being allowed to consume alcohol until the early hours and then of very drunk patrons emerging from the premises late at night and inevitable causing disturbance and nuisance to the surrounding inhabitants.” Nothing in the complainant's case, and in particular nothing in the complainant's own evidence, provided any comfort or assurance that this risk would be managed or minimised. The District Judge confirmed that he had read Hackney's witness statements prior to the commencement of the hearing, and was thus aware of the generality of that what they would say. However, even had the complainant discredited the evidence of live witnesses, this would and could not have impacted on the analysis of the real and unresolved risk to the licensing objectives. The licensee could not cure or alter the conclusions about his own character once his own case had ended. The licensee sought to challenge the decision by way of judicial review. His key contention was that the decision to dismiss the appeal was unlawful: ● Because there was no jurisdiction so to do. It was asserted that there was no power to dismiss an appeal provided for The case confirms an obvious aspect of the relevant and applicable procedure in licensing appeals. It was a novel - and perhaps unique - approach by the District Judge in such cases. But there is no reason why the power should not be exercised more regularly, either on application or on the court's own motion. Local Government Lawyer Insight February 2018 34 LocalGovernmentLawyer