Parties to a contested application are invited to speak about the application before Consumer and Business Services. This is a forum for expressing concerns and discussing possible solutions. Consumer and Business Services will facilitate the finding of common ground and will suggest ways that the objection can be resolved (for example, the Commissioner may suggest a modification to the application, or perhaps conditions that may be attached to the licence that will address the objector’s concerns).
If the conciliation hearing does not reach a satisfactory conclusion a date will be set for a contested hearing.
A hearing may be before Consumer and Business Services (if all parties agree) or before the Licensing Court.
If the matter is determined by Consumer and Business Services any appeal goes no further than the Licensing Court. If the contested matter goes straight to the Licensing Court any appeal goes to the Supreme Court.
At a contested hearing both parties will appear. Sworn evidence is taken and witnesses may be called to be examined and cross-examined. The matter is then subject to an appeal process. Please note that parties to any of the proceedings before the Commissioner or the Licensing Court may elect to appear personally or through counsel (a solicitor or other approved representative).
An appellant must bear the cost of the transcript for an appeal made to the Licensing Court.
Applications that have not been objected to are heard by Consumer and Business Services.
The Commissioner may refer a matter to the Licensing Court on matters of public importance, questions of law arising in proceedings before the Commissioner or any other matter that should be determined by the Court in the public interest.